David Ross’ defense of Chicago Cubs’ Jason Heyward is wrongJordan Campbellon June 29, 2022 at 5:24 pm

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer may be hesitant to use the word rebuild when discussing the current state of the Cubs’ Major League Baseball team but there is no other way to describe the current state of affairs for the baseball organization.

The Cubs are currently on pace for their first 100-loss season since 2012 and there is little reason to believe that the team is close to their next contending window.

The goal for Hoyer is to build the next great Chicago Cubs team and the intention is to do that with the prospects that the team has within their farm system. The issue that Hoyer may run into is that he has a manager in David Ross that values loyalty over the development of young players.

Prior to their June 10 game against the New York Yankees, the Cubs made a questionable roster move as they designated outfielder Clint Frazier for assignment in order to create an opening on the 40-man roster.

In defending the move, Ross said that the team couldn’t find a spot to play Frazier regularly.

“His ability to show what he’s capable of hasn’t panned out,” said Ross of Frazier, who’s hitting .216/.356/.297 in 19 games. “Not seeing how that is right now with how our roster is constructed, it’s been really tough to find him a spot.

“I think we still all believe that Clint Frazier has got a lot of really good baseball still and his ability,” Ross added. “Him getting the opportunity to go out there and prove it is the hard part right now.”

The reason that there wasn’t a regular spot for Frazier is that Ross has insisted that veteran Jason Heyward remain a regular in the Cubs’ starting lineups when facing a right-handed pitcher.

Heyward is currently hitting .204/.278/.277/.556 on the season with a 59 wRC+. Based on his 59 wRC+, FanGraphs justifies the use of the word “awful” when describing Heyward as an offensive player this season.

The fact of the matter is there is no reason for Heyward to be a regular in the starting lineup given where the Cubs are and the purpose that was outlined by Hoyer.

Heyward likely will not be a part of the next great Cubs team and his playing time should go to a player that has the potential to be a part of the next core.

Such a player could be Nelson Velazquez. Velazquez, 23, has emerged over the course of the past couple of seasons as one of the more prominent offensive prospects that the team has in their minor league system and is currently with the Major League team.

However, Velazquez has been relegated to being a bat off the bench with the occasional start against a left-handed starting pitcher.

Chicago Cubs manager David Ross’ defense of playing Jason Heyward is bad.

There is no reason for Velazquez to be on the bench as he should be receiving the starts that Heyward is getting. For Ross, though, his reasoning isn’t necessarily related to anything on the field.

“I know there’s going to be a time where we get some other younger guys out, but we’re not even halfway through the season,” Ross told The Bigs’ Eugene McIntosh. “There’s a loyalty factor from my standpoint. I love that guy.

“I know it’s all about production at the end of the day and that’s what fans see. But there’s so much more that he brings to the table.”

“There’s a loyalty factor from my stand point. I love that guy. I know it’s all about production at the end of the day & that’s what fans see but there’s so much more that he brings 2 the table.” David Ross on #JHey Full interview drops 2morrow! Subscribe! https://t.co/aJqQx5tTr6 pic.twitter.com/jNSezxjFDa

— #TheBIGS (@itsthebigs) June 27, 2022

David Ross loves Heyward. That is the reason why the development of a player like Velazquez or an opportunity for a former top prospect like Frazier is not important to the Cubs’ manager.

Ross’ ideology should be a concern for a team that is going to need to see what their young prospects can do at the Major League level during the second half of this season and an off-season where the team is projected to have money to spend.

Ross is sitting on one of the coldest managerial seats in Major League Baseball as the Cubs do not have the expectation to win and he was personally groomed by the team’s front office to be a manager.

Once the expectation for the Cubs turns and winning at the Major League level is the goal, Ross’ shortcomings as a manager at the Major League level will be on full display and the Cubs will need to make a change.

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