Cubs’ Keegan Thompson nabs David Ross All-Star endorsement

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David Ross endorses, facilitates Thompson All-Star bid originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

David Ross not only endorses Keegan Thompson as an early All-Star candidate but the Cubs’ manager has put his young pitcher in the best position to make his strongest run over the next few weeks.

“I think he’s definitely in that mix,” Ross said of All-Star talk for the right-hander. “That pitching group’s harder to crack for an All-Star [bid], especially from that kind of reliever-starter mix he’s in.”

Ross is doing his part to give Thompson the runway for takeoff.

RELATED: What Thompson All-Star selection would mean for Cubs

Injuries and Thompson’s exceptional two-month start in his hybrid role have the former third-round draft pick in the Cubs’ rotation “for the foreseeable future,” Ross said Friday — the day after Thompson pitched into the sixth inning to beat the Cardinals and improve to a major-league-leading 6-0 this season.

It was the longest career outing for Thompson, whose 1.99 ERA and 1.08 WHIP would rank sixth and ninth in the NL, respectively, if he had 6 2/3 more innings to qualify for the leaderboard.

“It would be a cool experience,” Thompson said after Thursday’s start, “but it’s just something you can’t think about because you might be worrying about that instead of just getting your work in every day.”

Thompson is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in four starts as he prepares for No. 5 next week in Baltimore.

“You see it every time that he’s out there. He’s competing his tail off,” Ross said of Thompson this season — and in particular when Ross pulled him in the sixth after having given up two runs in the game.

“He was super mad at himself,” Ross said. “He had a real good outing, and you would have thought that he’d given up six when I went and took the ball from him; he was just that mad. A little bit of me loved that, because it was like he knows he didn’t finish. … It’s nice to have a good outing and still have really high expectations for yourself.

“All in all, he’s continued to grow into a great major-league pitcher, and he’s been a big part of our success.”

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