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Ross excited to join Giants, playoff hunt

Ross excited to join Giants, playoff hunt

SAN FRANCISCO -- One day after being admittedly shocked about his departure from the Marlins, Cody Ross arrived Monday at AT&T Park about an hour before first pitch energized to be in a new home and the playoff hunt.

"It almost feels like I'm making my Major League debut, because I got so comfortable in Miami for so long, it kind of hit me surprisingly yesterday," said Ross, a veteran outfielder the Giants were awarded on a waiver claim. "Once it kind of calmed down, I was talking to a bunch of my family and stuff and everyone was just so excited that I was coming here and I couldn't get here fast enough."

The Giants designated infielder Matt Downs for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Ross, whom they claimed on Friday. To make room for Ross on the 25-man roster, the Giants on Monday placed right-hander Guillermo Mota on the 15-day disabled list with IT band syndrome.

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San Francisco will be responsible for approximately $1.1 million of Ross' remaining 2010 salary of $4.45 million.

A right-handed hitter, Ross batted .265 with 10 home runs and 58 RBIs in 120 games for Florida. He's a .264 career hitter with 83 homers and 312 RBIs in seven seasons, whose best all-around season was 2009, when he hit .270 with 24 homers and 90 RBIs in 151 games.

Before joining Florida in 2006, Ross played for the Tigers, Dodgers and Reds.

With the Giants, Ross will likely provide flexibility off the bench and could start occasionally, given his ability to play all three outfield spots. Ross, who arrived in the Giants clubhouse around 6:10 p.m. PT, only spoke with skipper Bruce Bochy briefly before introducing himself to teammates and media and said he's fine with however he's used.

"Anything they need me to do, I'm open to it," Ross said. "I've done it all -- I've come off the bench, I've started, I've done everything -- so whatever they need me to do, anyway I can help them push us over the edge, I'm willing to do it."

Ross, 29, said he's excited about going from third-place Florida to the Giants, who entered Monday's game six games behind National League West-leading San Diego and two games back of the Phillies in the NL Wild Card.

"I've never been to the playoffs. It's always been a goal of mine," Ross said. "Obviously when you're a young player, you want to establish yourself and be called a big leaguer, and now I want to take that next step and get to the playoffs and win some rings and stuff like that. That's what I'm looking forward to."

It had been speculated that the Giants claimed Ross to prevent National League West-leading San Diego, which has lost outfielder Tony Gwynn to the disabled list, from obtaining him. But some Padres insiders believe that San Diego's interest in Ross was questionable at most.

With Ross, the Giants now have six pure outfielders on the roster but, along with the uncertainty of his role, Ross said he also wasn't worried about why he was awarded to the Giants.

"When I heard, I knew the situation over here and how many outfielders were here, but that's something I can't control," Ross said. "I'm not going to try to play manager or GM. I'm just going to go all out and when they tell me what I need to do and when I'm going to play or where I'm going to play, I'll just do it."

Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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