After his two-run home run off of Roy Oswalt in the second inning of yesterday’s game, David Ross peaked at least a little interest among fans, including the couple of mailbag requests that we received asking who this guy was. Ross was signed as a free agent to a two-year, $3 million deal in early December to serve as a backup to Brian McCann; a role that was not well-filled by the combination of Corky Miller and Clint Sammons in 2008.
Ross has power potential but has struggled some in the past season. In the 2006-2007 seasons for the Reds, Ross appeared in 202 games and hit 38 home runs. After playing about a third of the 2008 season for the Reds, he was released and picked up off of waivers by the Red Sox. He made only 8 plate appearances for them, recording just one hit. He brings a career .222 batting average to Atlanta.
He is expected to replace Corky Miller and Clint Sammons as the backup catcher in 2009. Hopefully this will give Bobby Cox a little more confidence on the days when Brian McCann needs to rest. Miller and Sammons combined to bat .114 in their 114 at-bats last season. With Miller going to the White Sox, Sammons will likely spend time in the minors as the younger catching depth for the Braves.
Despite the decline in power numbers for Ross, he still provides a viable option for a pinch hitter and backup behind the plate. Personally, I look for Sammons in the majors soon, so I was more expecting the Braves to sign Ross for one year, but the two-year signing gives a little more flexibility for the future and to build the catching depth that we have lacked in the past.
Tags: Backup Catcher, David Ross
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