It seems as though David Ross has been struggling with certain decisions this season. This has come from various bullpen decisions, lineups, and call-ups/send downs. Overall, fans have been extremely confused in certain aspects of Ross’s future role with the team. It seems as though the team that Ross has access to is capable of winning enough games to make a push to the playoffs, or even win the NL Central, yet the Cubs still remain struggling. This is following a recent 2-7 road trip with a -27 run differential. There has to be something wrong with the Cubs due to their recent skid, but it doesn’t seem like Ross will be the one held responsible just yet.
The Athletic wrote up a report regarding a summary and outlook for all the MLB managers at this current point in the season. When it came to David Ross, Sahadev Sharma stated, “I don’t think [Jed Hoyer] views Ross as a placeholder and I don’t think he’s anywhere near being on the hot seat.”
It’s hard to imagine this situation’s outcome being David Ross packing his bags. He has had a less-than competitive team every year prior to this current season, the pandemic, and the transition from player to coach with no other experience, could definitely have hindered his coaching success. Regardless, we’re approaching a time where there is no more “wait and see”, but rather that there needs to be a sign of life with this Cubs roster.
It’s usually easy to find the scapegoat for a team with their manager or coach, and sometimes that’s well deserved. Some names that come to mind for that would be Matt Nagy, Fred Hoiberg, Tony LaRussa, and the list goes on. With Ross, it’s a little tough to look at him as the nucleus of the problem. The team all of the fans have been begging for is here, with Matt Mervis and Christopher Morel being called up, Eric Hosmer being DFA’ed, and the consistent competitive daily lineups. The problem is, and it can be as simple as this, the guys aren’t performing.
Marcus Stroman faced the Minnesota Twins a few weeks ago and let up six runs on seven hits and lasted just 2.2 innings. Justin Steele faced the Houston Astros days ago, and while they’re a tough team, he allowed five runs on five hits. Dansby Swanson is hitting .244 with a .487 SLG in May. While these are just specific events, none of these are the true characteristics of the players, they just have had moments this month where there’s been clear struggle.
The unique thing about Ross, given the team’s recent struggles, is that he doesn’t seem unfazed or deterred from success, which is a fantastic sign that there still is hope. We’re just now heading into June, where the weather is warmer, and the excuses diminish. All Cubs’ fans can do is hope the team can go back to the team we saw in late March/early April, and with the return on Cody Bellinger and Kyle Hendricks happening soon, all the cards are on the table and Ross will be keeping his seat for the foreseeable future.