Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/27/13
BOSTON — David Ross could have maintained the .120 average he entered Friday’s game with for the rest of the season and he still would have held some value. If he starts delivering at the plate, the Red Sox are receiving a bonus. Ross came to Boston as one of baseball’s most respected backup catchers, yet it had nothing to do with his offensive potential. Ross hit just .256 in 176 at-bats last season, and he entered Friday’s game as a career .236 hitter. Sure, he has shown flashes of offense throughout his 12-year career — like his 21 homers in 90 games in 2006 or his .392 on-base percentage in 59 games in 2010 — but Ross’ real bread and butter has always been excelling in areas that are much more difficult to quantify. Ross’ game-calling is considered to be among baseball’s best, his defense and propensity for throwing out would-be base stealers is top notch, and his leadership is something younger players admire. That’s a solid formula for carving out a career as a big league backstop, and the Red Sox found that package to be too good to pass up in the offseason, despite seemingly already having a backup catcher in Ryan Lavarnway. Through his first eight games in 2013, Ross essentially did what was asked of him. He threw out three of the 10 runners who attempted to steal on him, and he worked tirelessly to get on the same page as the pitching staff. Ross entered Friday’s game with a 3.09 catchers ERA, continuing a stretch in which he leads major league catchers since the beginning of 2009 (minimum 200 games caught) with a 3.31 mark. On Friday, Ross went above and beyond. He collected a career-high four hits, and he launched two home runs over everything in left field. “Against the left-handers, we look to match [Ross] up,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the team’s 7-3 win. “[He's] a very good fastball hitter, even on the 1-2 count where he got a fastball from [Erik] Bedard. But he was able to get himself into some good counts, pick out a fastball and he didn’t miss it.” Ross’ first home run came in the second inning, and his second blast came in the fourth inning immediately after Will Middlebrooks connected on his sixth dinger of the year. The round-trippers weren’t exactly by design, but Ross certainly isn’t complaining, especially since he had been mired in a 3-for-25 stretch to begin the year. “Hey man, the way I’ve been swinging, I’m just trying to see the ball and get a hit,” Ross said after the game. “It’s a lot of work…Just constantly working. It’s a constant battle for me and getting in a rhythm. It’s nice to have a big game.” Ross’ monster performance, which raised his average to .241 and his slugging percentage from .240 to .552, likely won’t evolve into some torrid streak. But with the adjustments he has been making at the dish, we could start to see the power stroke more often. “[I'm] just getting started a little earlier,” Ross said. “I feel like I haven’t been seeing the ball real well. I’ve kind of been seeing and swinging at the same time, which is just not a good mix. So I just slowed myself down a little bit and tried to get ready a little earlier.” Ross’ two home runs mark his 11th career multi-homer game, which is the most among active catchers. He also leads all active backstops (minimum of 1,000 plate appearances) with 19.9 at-bats per home run. All of that is still secondary when it comes to Ross’ major league resume, but the Red Sox will certainly take that type of production in addition to all the other good stuff whenever possible. Ross’ reasoning for tossing in the big flies? “If [hits are] going to come, there might as well be an RBI along with it, right?” Right. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker