ST. LOUIS -- One of the final hurdles for D-backs outfielder Cody Ross in his return from last year's devastating hip injury was sliding without hesitation.
Ross suffered a fracture and dislocation of his right hip last August while running to first base and returned ahead of schedule in mid-April this year.
Trusting that the hip, which now includes a metal plate and screws, would hold up when sliding was part of the rehab process this spring.
Just how confident Ross is these days was evidenced Wednesday night when he slid into home in the fifth inning. It wasn't just that Ross slid, it was that he slid right onto Brandon McCarthy's bat, which the pitcher had dropped at the plate while executing the safety squeeze.
"I mean, my first thought was, 'Oh great, I've got to try and score and avoid this bat at the same time,'" Ross said. "I basically said,'Tthe heck with it. I'm sliding right on it and trying to score.' I landed right on [the bat]. I didn't feel it; it didn't hurt."
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.