6/4/2014 9:19 P.M. ET
Ross grinding to break out of offensive funk
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
DENVER -- D-backs outfielder Cody Ross has tried to keep a positive attitude so as not to drag down his teammates, but inside the struggles of 2014 are clearly taking their toll.
"It's been a grind," Ross said. "Obviously it hasn't gone the way you sort of draw it up at the beginning. The last thing you want to do coming off an injury is start off slow, because you kind of feel like you're behind the eight-ball already. It's just a bad feeling."
Ross suffered a devastating injury last August when he fractured and dislocated his right hip while running to first base.
After an arduous rehab process Ross was back in action in mid-April and while the hip has held up, his batting average has sunk to .179 heading into Wednesday night's game.
"I've probably put more work in the cage this year than I have my whole career," Ross said. "But I have to stick with it. I'm trying different things. I've changed things. So right now I feel like I've got an idea what's going on and I've changed a couple of things mechanically and I feel like I'm in a better spot."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson left Ross out of the lineup Wednesday and said that he might do that for the near future while Ross works in the cage to be more comfortable with the mechanical changes the team has asked him to make.
Once Ross does get back in the lineup, he knows that sometimes all it takes to turn a season around is a good game or two.
"If you go out there and get a couple of hits no matter what you're doing, your confidence level goes up and then it starts going and it just snowballs," he said.
Gibson rests Owings day after near-cycle
DENVER -- D-backs shortstop Chris Owings missed hitting for the cycle by a single Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, he was out of the lineup.
Kirk Gibson knows that decision will cause some to scratch their heads, but the D-backs manager believes that Owings is best served during his rookie year by getting the occasional day off.
And one thing Gibson does not want to do is have Owings think he's sitting because he's not playing well. So with that in mind, Gibson tells Owings before the game the day before he plans on sitting him.
In other words, he told him pregame Tuesday that newly-recalled Didi Gregorius would get the start at short on Wednesday.
"The way I think it's been most effective for him, I've played him a couple of days and given him a day off to sit back and watch the game and talk about things that happen within the game," Gibson said. "Trying to take some pressure off him."
Whereas Gibson would play backup shortstop Cliff Pennington once a week, he knows he must get Gregorius more time than that if he wants him to continue to develop.
At the same time, he has to be careful to not hurt Owings' confidence or have him looking over his shoulder when it comes to Gregorius, so look for Gibson to give Gregorius some time at second when he rests Aaron Hill.
"I talked to C.O. about it today and told him this is the way we're going to progress right now," Gibson said. "We're going to have a different rotation. I look at Chris Owings as having a very good year right now. He has all the makings of a championship player. And certainly somebody we think very highly of. I don't want him to get disappointed or look over his shoulder.
"It's just the way it's going to work for the team right now. He's totally open to that and he'll be ready whenever I ask him to be ready."
• Shortstop Cliff Pennington had successful surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his left thumb Wednesday. It will be eight to 10 weeks until Pennington can resume baseball activity.
• Infielder Didi Gregorius played more games at second than he did shortstop with Triple-A Reno this year.
"It's pretty much the same," Gregorius said. "Only the angles are different. Not a big difference."
The only other time in his pro career that he played second base was in 2012 with Cincinnati's Triple-A team.
• The D-backs Triple-A Reno affliliate has won six straight series for the first time in Aces' history.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.