The Red Sox signed David Ross to a two-year, $6.2 million contract over the winter in hopes that he would share catching duties with Jarrod Saltalamacchia this season, but he has been limited to just 23 games due to a pair of concussions. However, it sounds like he could be back for the stretch run.
According to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com, Ross will begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Double-A Portland. The 36-year-old hasn’t played since June 14, but he was cleared to return to game action after going for a check-up with concussion specialist Michael Collins on Thursday. He’s expected to move up to Triple-A Pawtucket next week and should be activated around the time he’s eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on August 17.
This has been a lost season for Ross so far, but he could provide a nice boost to Boston’s lineup if he’s back to 100 percent. He compiled an .816 OPS from 2009-2012 with the Braves and was a real weapon against left-handed pitching.
Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a fractured left hand, per a report from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, adds The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, and is expected miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks in recovery before he’s cleared to throw again. In a best-case scenario, the lefty will be ready to pitch again before the All-Star break, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.
The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. The Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.
This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”