Cody Ross feels no pressure to fill Justin Upton’s spot
New Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross feels right at home in Arizona because his permanent residence is in Scottsdale, but the uniform he’s putting on is a bit different for him. Ross agreed to a three-year-deal worth $26 million back in December after playing last season with the Red Sox.
When Ross signed there was additional speculation that one of Arizona’s outfielders would need to be traded because of the logjam at that position, with Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra, Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock vying for just three spots.
Upton was eventually the player that got moved in a trade with Atlanta. Thursday, at Salt River Fields, Ross was asked if he “feels any pressure filling Upton’s shoes” in right field.
“No, no, no. No, absolutely not. You know Justin is a great player. He’s one of the top players in the big leagues but I’ve been around for a long time,” said the 32-year-old Ross. “I don’t feel the pressure to come in and step in and replace guys. Maybe when I was 20 but now I’m 32, come on man.”
Ross has said when he signed with the D-backs they did not tell him that a trade of existing outfielder would be made. He also has no idea which of the outfield positions he’ll be playing on a daily basis.
“They didn’t tell me where I’m going to play, what I’m going to play or where I’m going to hit. They just told me to be ready and I told them anywhere they need me to be, I’ll be,” said Ross. “When they traded Justin they didn’t say, ‘hey you’re our right fielder.’ Chances are I’ll probably play there a lot but I told them I can play center, I can play left. Whatever they need me to do.”
That’s what makes Ross such a valuable guy on the field and in the clubhouse. His approach to the game is that whatever is best for the team that day, that is what he’s willing to do.
“I think that’s the mentality of our whole team,” he said. “We got a lot of versatile guys that can mix in and use in certain spots to help keep guys fresh and help keep guys healthy.”