In what is expected to be his final season, David Ross saw definite improvement in his numbers on the road to a Cubs World Series victory. He appeared in 67 games, making 205 plate appearances. He hit double digit home runs for the first time since 2007 while also improving his walk and strikeout rates. He walked in 14.6 percent of his plate appearances, and dropped his strikeout rate to 26.3 percent, his lowest since 2010. This helped him to slash .229/.338/.446, a huge jump from his paltry 2015 numbers of .176/.267/.252. He remained relatively productive throughout the entire year, all the way to the final game, when he hit a homer in Game 7 of the World Series, which is impressive for a 39-year-old, regardless of his reduced playing time. Assuming he follows through on his intent to retire, he certainly went out on top.
Ross will end his playing career after he was named a special assistant to the baseball operations with the Cubs on Friday, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. The 39-year-old retired following the Cub's World Series victory in 2016. He played 15 seasons in the majors, winning two championships. Ross hit .229 with 10 home runs in his final season as a player, and will now make the transition to the front office.
Ross will be the starting catcher Tuesday in Game 4 of the Cubs' NLDS matchup with the Giants. The Cubs gave each of the three catchers on their NLDS roster a start over the first three games of the series, and Ross will be the first of the bunch to start twice. He will hit eighth against Giants starter Matt Moore.
Ross went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in Friday's 2-1 victory over the Giants. The veteran catcher opened the scoring with his run-scoring two-bagger in the third, which plated Javier Baez. Ross has started the first two games of September, recording a hit in each along with Friday's RBI double and two walks over five at-bats.
Ross went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored overall in Friday's 12-1 victory over the Mariners. The veteran backstop kick-started a six-run sixth for the Cubs, blasting a 382-foot solo shot to left center off Nate Karns. Ross has played very sparingly in July after suffering a concussion early in the month, logging only 14 at-bats, three hits and two RBI.
Ross (concussion) was activated from the 7-day DL on Friday. After taking a foul ball off the mask last week, it seemed likely that Ross would be back by the end of the All-Star break. He isn't in Friday's starting lineup, but he seems to be on the right track and could start over the weekend.