— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) January 7, 2014
If that is indeed the case - it's a huge step forward, considering there was serious doubt as to his recovery, with many people doubting he would be available until well into next season, and even the most optimistic not expecting him back when other position players report next month. Of course, there is still a gap between resuming activity, and being major-league ready, and it's also the case that the Diamondbacks' season is starting earlier than other teams, due to the Australia trip. So I wouldn't quite be penciling him in to the Opening Day line-up for Sydney just yet. But it certainly appears to be good news.
He told KTAR's Hot Stove Show last night, "It was a tough, grueling few months, but rehabilitation) is definitely a lot better and quicker than all of us thought. Now we're starting to get into the running and I'm doing all baseball activities: hitting, throwing, I'm doing everything... I put the time and the effort in to get back and hopefully be a big part of this team next year." After the winter's trades, and the departure of Adam Eaton, the D-backs outfield was looking perilously thin once you got beyond Mark Trumbo, Adam Eaton and Gerardo Parra; Ross would certainly be preferred for a roster spot over the likes of Tony Campana.
Curious to see how Kirk Gibson will handle thing, given the different balance resulting from the arrival of a right-handed hitter (Trumbo) and the departure of a left-handed one (Eaton), leaving Parra likely the only southpaw on the roster capable of playing the outfield. In particular, when we face a right-handed starting pitcher - which we did more than two-thirds of the time this year, in 114 games - who will sit? Trumbo has, historically, better numbers than Ross vs. RHP (.748 OPS vs .716). But with Pollock also struggling (.664), I can see both Trumbo and Ross starting in the corner positions, with Parra in CF.
But more on this later in the week, as I've been chewing over the line-up options we might have in 2014. For now, it's just good to hear Ross is on the return path. For. at the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious, a healthy Cody has a much better chance of being producting than one limping around on crutches!