The Chicago Cubs have announced on their official website that they have added David Ross to their bereavement list. The move was necessary to give the pitcher time to mourn the death of his grandmother.
According to the Cubs’ rules of bereavement, Ross is allowed to miss three consecutive games from Saturday. However, he can not remain in the list for more than seven days.
By the time the announcement was being made, there was not a specific date for Ross’s return. The Cubs have since called up Matt Szczur from Triple-A Iowa so that he can relieve Ross.
At the moment, the Cubs can not rely on their two catchers. This is because Kyle Schwarber is still a rookie. Besides that, the other seasoned catcher, Miguel Montero, has just returned from the disabled list.
Szczur has of late been converted into a reliever. Friday’s call up was actually his sixth time this season alone. The Cubs had earlier deployed him to Iowa so that Montero could get back his starting position.
On the other hand, the odds seem to be favoring Addison Russell. The rookie already debuted in the big league on Saturday thanks to the benching of Starlin Castro.
“I’ve been playing that position since I was a little kid,” Russell said of shortstop. “Finally my dreams are coming true. But I just want to help the team. They’ll put me where they need me, and I’ll try to get the job done.”
At the age of 21, Russell already knows shortstop like the palm of his hand. And he knows how to draw a line between shortstop and second base.
“I know the tendencies of second base now, so I can get a better feel for shortstop,” Russell said. “They’re two completely different jobs. I like short, I like second.”
But Russell is also concerned about his sudden switch from the shortstop. He just did not see the changes coming and now that manager Joe Maddon has already assigned him a new role, he just have to face the bull by the horns.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Russell said. “[Castro] has always been a good teammate and he picks me up whenever I’m down.”
Besides that, Maddon argued that the team is encouraging Jorge Soler to improve his performance in the defense because the Cubs can not afford to miss any more chances in future.
“It’s just the way a guy’s motor runs,” Maddon said. “I’ve had really good players and when they’re hitting well, the motor is fine, and when they’re not hitting well, the motor becomes a concern.
We’re trying to get [Soler] to understand that even when things aren’t going well, to stay in that higher gear.”