© 2014 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

4/13/2014 5:13 P.M. ET

Miley sheds locks to join friend's cancer fight

PHOENIX -- Wade Miley knows what you are thinking.

The D-backs' starting pitcher struggled with his location Saturday night against the Dodgers and so he showed up Sunday morning with his famous Louisiana locks gone and sporting bald head to change his mojo, right?


"A very close friend of mine is going through chemo and radiation and I told him as long as he was going to be bald, I was going to be bald," Miley said. "It's just hair, so it's not that big of a deal. It's not like I use it like Samson or anything."

Miley's childhood friend Johnnie Santangelo III recently had a malignant brain tumor removed and is scheduled to begin chemotherapy Tuesday. Santangelo was drafted as a pitcher by the Kansas City Royals in 2004 but his career was cut short because of arm problems.

"It's not Stage IV. It's stage III, which is not great by any means, but they were able to remove the tumor and the radiation and chemo is to kill the rest of the cells in hopes that it's completely gone," Miley said. "What he is going through right now, I commend him for being as strong as he is and it helps me to stay strong."

On Saturday, Miley was charged with five runs on eight hits in five innings against Los Angeles, matching his shortest start of the season. He struck out four batters and walked three.

"It changes your life perspective. You realize how important life is," Miley said. "Obviously, this game is important to me and important to everybody in here, but once you go home and you think about somebody in your life going through something like that, I didn't think about it anymore because the game was over."

Ross' return appears imminent

PHOENIX -- Injured outfielder Cody Ross continues to make progress and could join the D-backs sometime next week, possibly in the series against the Mets that starts Monday.

Ross, who is working his way back from August hip injury, has six hits in his first 19 at-bats in six games for Triple-A Reno while on rehab assignment. He had two hits on Saturday night.

"He played almost eight innings [Saturday], so we are getting fairly close," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We are getting close, but at the same time we are just getting him into seven, eight and nine innings. I think he might play nine [Sunday]."

Ross is expected to play left field and right field when he returns because he might not be ready to play center field yet, Gibson said.

Delgado takes move to 'pen in stride

PHOENIX -- If D-backs right-hander Randall Delgado is upset about the move from the starting rotation to the bullpen, he isn't showing it.

"You have to get warm and get ready to get in the game faster, but it's fine and that's the only real difference," Delgado said. "I wasn't pitching well as a starter, and they think I'll do better in this role. I'll just keep working hard and get outs."

Delgado has struggled this season. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his start Thursday night and pitched only four innings against the Rockies in the previous start.

"There's not much I can do but work and try to get better," he said.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.