View Full Version : David Ross: is he good for the team or a one year wonder?

02-24-2007, 04:16 PM

Spring just can't last long enough for Ross

By C. Trent Rosecrans
Post staff reporter

SARASOTA, Fla. - By the middle of March, many people start bemoaning the length of spring training and the drudgery of six weeks of work before the start of the regular season.

Reds catcher David Ross isn't one of them.

"People complain about spring training that it's a waste of time, but the best thing you get out of it is pitchers and catchers, the more you can work with pitchers is better," Ross said Friday. "Especially new guys like (reliever Mike) Stanton, you find out what they want to throw in certain counts and their main pitch and stuff like that."

Reds pitchers and catchers have now been in camp a week and the position players had their first official workout on Thursday.

That time with the pitchers is crucial, Ross said.

"It's the main thing we get down done here, we get our work done, we get our swings in, we get our conditioning in, but the main thing is we establish our relationship with the pitchers," Ross said. "That's why we get here early."

Ross didn't have that luxury last season. The Reds traded for Ross on March 21 and he had to race from the Padres' spring training site in Arizona to Sarasota.

It was the second consecutive season Ross was traded in spring training. In 2005 the Dodgers traded him to the Pirates in spring training and then he was traded again during the season to the Padres.

"Hopefully this time I can stick around," Ross joked. "I hope they don't ship me out of here."

Ross doesn't need to worry about that. Last month he signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with a club option for 2009.

"This is the first spring training I've settled in and really focused on getting ready to play," Ross said. "I've been around these guys for a full season and we had a successful season for the most part, it's nice to come back to some familiar faces."

Job security isn't the only change for Ross this season, he's also entering a season with not only a guaranteed roster spot, but also as the No. 1 catcher for the first time in his major league career.

Ross earned the spot last season when he started 73 games for the Reds. By June, he'd already reached career highs in home runs (21) and RBIs (52). Ross finished the season hitting .255. The Reds pitchers posted a team-best 4.28 ERA with Ross catching.

Ross started the season as Bronson Arroyo's personal catcher, and caught 32 of Arroyo's 35 starts on the season, but his bat heated up in the early months of the season (he had 10 home runs by the end of June), making it difficult to keep him out of the lineup.

Still, Ross didn't play every day as Jerry Narron shuffled playing time to three different catchers with Ross, Javier Valentin and Jason LaRue, who was traded to Kansas City after the season.

"There were three good catchers, so you couldn't complain," Ross said. "It worked out good for me. Jason's a good catcher and he'll do great in Kansas City. Javy's great and Chad (Moeller) is here."

The Reds signed Moeller this off-season, but general manager Wayne Krivsky said he hasn't made a decision on how many catchers the team will carry this season.

With three catchers last season, LaRue caught most of Aaron Harang's starts. Ross caught the Reds' No. 1 starter only once last season.

"That's my main goals this year is learning him," Ross said. "I know Aaron has to establish his fastball and that's his main pitch, whereas Bronson is more of a finesse pitcher. It's two totally different games to call. Everything with pitchers is to try to find out what makes them tick and see what they like to throw."

Harang said he might take Ross out to the golf course today to talk a little more about his preferences and in an effort to get to know each other better, even though they've been teammates for a year already.

"People don't think that a catcher makes that much difference, but they do," Harang said. "I need to get comfortable with him, I've got to get used to his tendencies and he's got to get used to my tendencies. It's extremely important for us to get on the same page, and the spring to use it as a springboard into the season."

Last season, Ross and Arroyo clicked immediately.

"I really like the way he sets up behind the plate, for one. Then I really like the way he works behind the plate," Arroyo said. "I worked with him the very first time against the Red Sox in Fort Myers and we just clicked right away. He thinks right along with me, we don't have to juggle too many thought processes. If it's not plan A, he knows exactly what my plan B is. I don't have to sit on the mound shaking him off four or five times."

Ross was on the disabled list in July with a lower abdominal strain and missed three of Arroyo's starts. Arroyo said he noticed a difference immediately. His first start of the season without Ross behind the plate was July 9 at Atlanta and Arroyo lasted only 4 1/3 innings, giving up 10 hits and six runs.

"It's like putting on a pair of shoes you've had forever," Arroyo said. "They're really, really comfortable, and then you get the same model of shoe, the exact same kind, and you put them on and you know they're not right."

That's what spring training is for - breaking in new gloves, spikes and catchers.

Publication date: 02-24-2007

Interesting information. He definitely slid offensively the second half, but it seems his value as a gamecaller may be higher than atleast I thought. The question is, to what level does he have to perform to not be considered a one year wonder?

Is it merely that David Ross have to offensively out perform Larue?

Considering the gamecalling aspect, is it a fair question?

02-24-2007, 04:30 PM
"Jason's a good catcher and he'll do great in Kansas City. Javy's great and Chad (Moeller) is here."


"I have three sisters. My one sister is really smart. My other sister is really funny. My third sister is my sister."

02-24-2007, 04:50 PM
My opinion - David Ross and Javier Valentin will finish the season in the top five to seven categories in home runs and OPS. I wouldn't be surprised to see them combine to hit 25-30 homers again this season, which would put them right there near the top.

Tom Servo
02-24-2007, 04:50 PM

"I have three sisters. My one sister is really smart. My other sister is really funny. My third sister is my sister."
I noticed and thought the same thing. :lol:

02-24-2007, 04:52 PM
Does David Ross remember Rich Aromboles?

4256 Hits
02-24-2007, 11:02 PM
Has there ever been any word on how the Reds got for Larue? Since the Reds gave them 3 mil to take him it should be someone w/ potential!

02-25-2007, 08:25 AM
Has there ever been any word on how the Reds got for Larue? Since the Reds gave them 3 mil to take him it should be someone w/ potential!

Everyone has potential. Figuring out at what is the key. :evil:

02-25-2007, 02:18 PM
Does David Ross remember Rich Aromboles?

Does anyone?

02-26-2007, 04:25 AM
I hope they're taking some time to practice actually catching the ball on plays at home.