After tweaking something in what appeared to be his side earlier this week, Chicago Cubs veteran catcher David Ross says he’s good to go – although as of Saturday morning, it was unclear if he would catch Jon Lester in the afternoon tilt against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Ross spoke to reporters on Friday, including MLB.com, about the injury, which took place during at at-bat on Thursday against the New York Mets. The 38-year-old backstop eventually struck out on a foul bunt after Joe Maddon instructed him to bunt in hopes of avoiding aggravating the injury.
Maddon said Friday he expected Ross to serve as Lester’s personal catcher at Wrigley Field Saturday as he has all season-long. There’s even more on the line than normal, with the Cubs in the midst of a five-game winning streak, trailing the first-place St. Louis Cardinals by just four games in the standings.
A career .232 hitter, Ross was added this offseason for multiple reasons: to help guide a team full of young players and to help the Cubs’ big offseason prize, Lester, who signed a six-year, $155 million deal, adjust to the National League and a new organization.
For Ross, Chicago has offered plenty to like so far.
"“If my body holds up, we’ll be fine,” Ross said. “These guys are great. It’s a fun group to be part of. It’s a group that asks a lot of questions. I’ve got to clean up my dance moves for after the game. I’ve got to get better at that.”"
On Opening Night, Ross sent fans at Wrigley into a roar when he legged out a double. He’s largely been a non-factor offensively, batting just .192/.364/.346, but he’s got Lester heading into Saturday’s start with an undefeated record in the month of May after the left-hander struggled in multiple April outings.
As for Ross, look for his teammates to help keep him young as the Chicago Cubs look to make a run at the postseason far earlier than most had anticipated.