D-backs send Ross back to DL with left calf strain

Outfielder missed time early after last year's hip injury; Marte recalled

D-backs send Ross back to DL with left calf strain

PHOENIX -- D-backs right fielder Cody Ross is back on the 15-day disabled list, this time because of a left calf strain.

He was replaced on the Major League roster prior to Tuesday night's game against the Tigers at Chase Field by Alfredo Marte, who was recalled from Triple-A Reno.

Ross missed most of Spring Training and the opening weeks of the season, recovering from last year's severe hip injury and surgery, returning on April 18.

Ross, 33, is hitting .238 with five doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs in 66 games this season. In his last 25 games, he batted .358 (19-for-53) with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs.

"The last thing you want to do is try to keep playing on it and it could end up being worse," Ross said. "It's frustrating after putting in so much work and effort and then coming up with something like this. It sets you back, but there's nothing you can really do about it."

Ross said he sustained the injury prior to the All-Star break and he hoped that the days off would have a calming effect. 

They didn't and it came to a head on Saturday night. After leading off the bottom of the second with a single, he felt the calf pull as he accelerated out of the box toward first base. Ross went to second on a sacrifice bunt, but admitted that he didn't know how he would have made it home on a base hit. That didn't happen, but he came out of the eventual 9-3 victory over the Cubs in the top of the third.

On Monday night, Ross pinch-hit and had another single in the ninth inning in a 4-3 loss to the Tigers, but was immediately replaced on the basepaths by Nick Ahmed.

"He can't run," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said about Ross. "You saw that last night again. He had an MRI and it showed a little defect there. We kind of knew that going into that game. Now he's going to take some time to get it right. If it was a couple of days thing, we would consider playing short, but we don't think it's going to be a couple of days."

Ross has had a litany of injuries in his career: a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a broken leg in middle school, the recurrence of a strained left calf during last year's Spring Training that kept him on the DL until mid-April and established the pattern of his first season with the D-backs after signing a three-year, $26 million free-agent contract.

But nothing prepared him for the injury he sustained on Aug. 11 of last year at Chase Field against the Mets. During the bottom of the first inning, Ross smacked a grounder in the hole between third and short that was fielded cleanly by third baseman Wilmer Flores. Ross ran the ball out, but he collapsed just before he reached first base.

Two days after the incident, Ross underwent reconstructive surgery on his right hip. The back wall of the hip was broken off, Ross explained, so surgeons went in and put it back together, putting a plate over it with screws.

The hip has been fine so far this season, but this is the third time since 2011 Ross has suffered from the same calf injury. He missed six weeks that year with the Giants because of it. Ross said he attributes the recurring injury to the broken fibula he suffered as a 13-year-old trying to make an acrobatic move while playing football.

"The fibula isn't actually together," Ross said. "The bone is offset a little bit. The doctor thinks that might be the reason because that's right where I keep doing it. He thinks that might be some sort of issue."

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.