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Monday, December 24, 2012

The “other” Ross may be most significant Sox addition - Sports - The Boston Globe

Never underestimate the impact a good catcher can have on a pitching staff, which is why the signing of David Ross may wind up being the Red Sox’ most significant one this offseason.

It’s everything from the pitcher being confident in the catcher and what he’s calling; the catcher’s ability to throw out a runner (Ross threw out 37 percent last season) and bail a pitcher out of a jam; blocking a ball at an opportune time; and getting a pitcher straightened out if he’s lost his composure.

This, and more, is what the Red Sox missed last season after Jason Varitek retired.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Darren Posted: December 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4331892)
He sounds great, based on the endorsements of Glavine, Lowe, and Farrell. But if this guy is a good catcher, why didn't the Red Sox hold onto him the first time they got him? For that matter, why has he kicked around and remained generally a backup for so long?

Here's the article's explanation for why he's a backup:

Ross, who hit .269 with an .816 OPS in four seasons with the Braves, had been a journeyman until finding a stable role with the Braves. What keeps a guy like Ross a backup is his bat, but even that improved last season with the element of power (nine homers in 176 at-bats).


When I read that, I said, "Cripe, who wrote this, Cafardo?" And then I checked, and yes, it was Cafardo. I would really like a better explanation of why this guy could never get a starting job.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4331902)


When I read that, I said, "Cripe, who wrote this, Cafardo?" And then I checked, and yes, it was Cafardo. I would really like a better explanation of why this guy could never get a starting job.


I've always thought he was better than the journeyman/backup status he's had, and I hated when the Sox didn't hold on to him the first time around. He's had a few abysmal BA seasons, and isn't going to be a high BA guy, but he'll take a walk, hit with some pop and throw runners out at a very nice clip. Three very nice skills to have.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4331907)
I think Ross is a victim of being pigeonholed. It's like a reliever who gets pigeonholed as a LOOGY or a "7th inning man" despite clearly being deserving of something more. He's pretty much "backup catcher David Ross" at this point so no one is giving him a shot.

Gregg Zaun is a guy I always thought fit this bill too.
   4. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4331916)
Yes on the Zaun comparison. I ALWAYS wanted the Angels to grab a decent hitting catcher as the backup (during the Molina/Napoli years) and then a decent hitting catcher to start during the Abyss (Mathis/Wilson year).

To his credit, Dipoto got Chris Iannetta with his first move as GM - a simple move that improved the club by 2 wins for little cost.
   5. Brian White Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4331986)
I think Ross is a victim of being pigeonholed. It's like a reliever who gets pigeonholed as a LOOGY or a "7th inning man" despite clearly being deserving of something more. He's pretty much "backup catcher David Ross" at this point so no one is giving him a shot.


A few things hurt him - first, he got to the majors pretty late. His first 100+ AB season was when he was 26 years old.

Second, his only shot at starting full time came in 2007, when the Reds handed him the starting job after a very successful season playing half-time in 2006. Ross responded with a 68 OPS+, and losing everyday player status by August, and I think at that point everyone kinda figured he was better off playing <80 games/year.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4331987)
Unless this is the subtle takedown of Salty before trading him, it's an odd article. As noted, Ross has essentially never started in his career. He's been a half-timer only twice. And since he's been an above-average bat for a C, of course that's not what's held him back.

Man, not only has Ross played for a bunch of different ML teams, he went to both Florida and Auburn. Maybe nobody likes the guy.

Anyway, if the Red Sox want to get rid of Salty for nothing, I'd be happy for the Cubs to give a listen. But until he's gone, I'm guessing Ross is in line for his standard 45 starts a year.
   7. Colin Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4332072)
For what it's worth, Ross was very good for the Braves, except when pressed into more of a starting role. His hitting went south in those months when McCann was hurting and he had to start more games (though those months also tended to be later in the season, so that may have been a factor also).
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4332081)
I remember when David Ross hit his third and final home run for the Pirates, on April 15, 2005. He may have been the league leader in HRs at the time, it's hard to tell.
   9. zachtoma Posted: December 25, 2012 at 04:55 AM (#4332174)
What keeps a guy like Ross a backup is his bat,


Over the last 4 years with the Braves Ross has a 119 OPS+ with respectable power. What keeps a guy like Ross a backup is a catcher like Brian McCann.

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