Jed Hoyer gives David Ross a vote of confidence
As the losses continue to mount for the Cubs, some corners of the fanbase may be looking for somebody to blame.
Oftentimes, the manager is caught in the crosshairs of fans’ ire but Jed Hoyer doesn’t think that’s a fair assessment in David Ross’ case.
The Cubs dropped their 10th game in a row Thursday afternoon to the San Diego Padres. Their record now sits at 23-40 on the season.
Hoyer doesn’t put any of that on Ross.
“I think he’s done a great job,” Hoyer said. “He’s the same person every day. Every conversation we have is about how to make guys better. So I don’t see any issues with him whatsoever.”
Hoyer understands that the injuries have played a major role in the roster, limiting the resources at Ross’ disposal on a daily basis.
The Cubs currently have 12 players on the injured list, including 60% of the projected Opening Day rotation (Marcus Stroman, Drew Smyly, Wade Miley).
Every team in baseball has to contend with injuries — especially this season — but the wheels have come off for the Cubs a bit here lately in part because the starters have not pitched deep into games, which has overworked the bullpen.
That means there are no easy answers for Ross on the top step of the Cubs’ dugout.
“It’s difficult,” Hoyer said. “Some of the matchup stuff we planned out or some of the platoons or some of the things that we had hoped for haven’t materialized so there’s times he’s not getting the matchups he would want or things haven’t lined up the way we’d probably planned. And so we’ve been playing with a short bench a lot of times because of injuries or our ‘pen has been tired and so he’s had to stay away from guys.
“Those are the things that, understandably, fans don’t always know — who’s down, who’s injured, who’s available, who’s not. I know those things. And so I know the various constraints he’s had to work under, because of our injuries and things like that.
“And I think all things considered, he’s done a great job. I mean, he’s frustrated; I’m frustrated. We sit there at night and talk through it. But all the conversations are really productive.”
Thursday’s loss marks the third double-digit losing streak in the last calendar year for the Cubs. They had an 11-game skid in June and July last summer, which ultimately led to the trade deadline selloff. The team also lost 12 in a row from Aug. 5-16 last season.
Ross doesn’t want to spend much time comparing the losing streaks, preferring to turn the page as quickly as possible.
However, he does acknowledge that the lengthy injured list is a contributing factor.
“This [streak], you feel a little bit more snakebit with injuries,” Ross said. “…I’m a firm believer that carrying yesterday’s negativity into today does us no good.
“These guys continue to fight, like I’ve said all year long. We’ll get some guys healthy. There will be better days ahead.”