Cody Ross left Wednesday's loss to the Angels with an injury to his right leg (the apparent third sign of the Apocalypse, behind Brian Wilson's injury and the pitching staff's struggles) and it appears as if his MRI didn't turn out well.
Ross, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, will begin the season on the disabled list and miss three weeks with a torn calf, termed a "moderate strain, officially."
Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Ross is currently "walking in a boot with a crutch," and he's expected to be on the crutches for an additional day or two.
"They said probably three weeks, give or take," Ross said.
When Ross got hurt, it didn't necessarily look that serious, as he jumped to pick off a shallow, high liner to right from Alberto Callaspo and then pulled up limp on his way into the infield after making the catch.
He walked off on his own power, and seemed to favor the outer side of his right foot while hobbling his way to the dugout -- clearly, the injury to his leg was worse than it initially appeared.
"Obviously everybody's goal is to be healthy and play Opening Day," Ross said. "But it's not about Opening Day. It's about being ready to play for the majority of the season. I don't want to rush to get back for Opening Day, for the sake of being back, and look up in June and the calf is still bugging me. I want to try to treat it, get it right and get back as quick as I can for the rest of the season.
We detailed following the 8-0 beatdown from LAA that there there could be a pair of small silver linings to Ross' injury: the relative depth that San Fran's got in terms of guys who can play outfield and the possibility that prospect Brandon Belt could start the season with the team.
If Belt stays with the team, his arbitration clock will start ticking, the front office will keep trying to move Aaron Rowand and Aubrey Huff will get bumped to the outfield to fill the void left by Ross' departure.
Given the success the club had with another prospect who was surprisingly kept in the minors -- Buster Posey, you may have heard of him -- it'd be a pretty big shock if they didn't elect to take the fiscally responsible route and either play Schierholtz or move Torres to right and let Rowand man center.
Based on Thursday night's lineup card, which features Huff at first and Schierholtz in right, it seems pretty apparent that the front office is willing to gamble that the team can survive offensively until Ross comes back and/or they're able to bring Belt up without any long-term repercussions to the payroll.