St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Cody Ross (7) runs to first against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
We've already heard today that Andrew Bailey and Jason Repko are working their way back to game shape. Now, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, Cody Ross and Aaron Cook will join them, as Ross is set to start a rehab assignment over the weekend, and Aaron Cook will get the start for the Lowell Spinners the following Wednesday.
Ross has not played in a game for the Red Sox since May 18, when he fractured a bone in his foot in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Red Sox have turned to the likes of Scott Podsednik and--with the return of Kevin Youkilis--Adrian Gonzalez to fill the hole left in right field. Ross was hitting an impressive .271/.349/.534 when he was sidelined, with especially impressive numbers against left-handed pitchers.
Aaron Cook seems to have spent his whole season trying to make his way to the majors one way or another. At first, with the Sox trying to work out their rotation, he was just biding his time until his opt-out date forced the issue. Then, after throwing 1.2 innings, he had his knee torn open on a play at the plate, and threw just one more frame (allowing seven more runs) before hitting the disabled list. While his numbers look terrible, it would be unfair to read anything into a performance that came with his knee in tatters.
The Sox will face some difficult roster decisions upon each player's return. Ross' will mean the end of either Scott Podsednik and his hot bat or Darnell McDonald and his familiar face on the team, while the team has already been struggling to find space in their pitching staff for the likes of Junichi Tazawa and Clayton Mortensen.
Of course, that only holds true if everyone else stays likely, which with this team seems unlikely.