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David Ross considering joining Cubs’ front office

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Retired major league catcher David Ross is considering an opportunity to join the Cubs’ front office, according to Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago. Ross says he has “three or four things” he needs to “sift through” and discuss with his family.

“I’m still going to stay in baseball. I feel like I’m connected to the Cubs for life — or (at least) I want to be. For me to not take advantage of the knowledge that front office has would be naive. There’s a lot of Hall of Famers in that front office. And I want to get to know that side of things. So, yeah, I’m sure there’s something that’s going to work out in the future with the Cubs. But I have a lot of other commitments and things I want to do (while trying) to get a life after baseball where I keep my foot in the door some way,” Ross said.

At the winter meetings last week, GM Jed Hoyer said, “There’s definitely interest on our part. It would seem almost a shame if he wasn’t (around). He was such a big part of what we did from a team-chemistry standpoint. Probably no one has a better feel for what we’ll need — what tweaks we’ll need in the clubhouse or what’s going on — than he will. So I think having him around in the next few years (would be) really valuable.”

Ross and co-author Don Yaeger have a book coming out through Hachette Book Group called Teammate: My Life in Baseball which is expected to be released in May.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.