Not every postseason hero gets to stick with their team forever — Francisco Cabrera had a nice moment, but 91 plate appearances after his big hit, he was gone — but Cody “death to inside fastballs” Ross isn’t likely to be one of those short term guys. Brian Sabean tells the Merc that the team is looking to keep the arbitration-eligible Ross after this season.
It helps that, even though Ross is making his national debut in many important ways this week, he’s a decent ballplayer. After a nomadic first few years in the bigs, Ross established himself in Florida, where he showed some nice pop. He doesn’t get on base particularly well, but compared to Aaron Rowand he’s practically Kevin Youkilis in terms of plate discipline. Moreover, given that Andres Torres has probably been playing over his head and given that Pat Burrell has nowhere to go but down, the Giants have to have someone they can rely on in the outfield going forward.
The question, though, is whether Sabean decides to simply do a one year arbitration-avoiding deal on a guy who can probably be counted on for a good year, or if he’s going to take those dingers he hit off Halladay and Oswalt a bit too seriously and think he has a multi-year contract-deserving superstar on his hands in Ross.
Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.
Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.
Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.