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AmarilloRed
03-08-2008, 06:58 PM
Notes: Ross' return remains uncertain
Back cramps preclude veteran catcher from spring action
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Reds catcher David Ross never expected that he would miss this much time.

Spasms have had Ross' lower back in knots, and when he wakes up on Saturday, he'll have already missed all 11 Spring Training games.

"It's terrible," said Ross of the longer-than-expected layoff. Ross thought he'd miss a couple of days when he first got hurt.

Ross' stay in the trainer's room has been extended because of two attempts to return gone wrong. The most recent try at hitting and throwing was four days ago, and it proved he wasn't ready yet.

"I'm going to wait until I'm pain-free," Ross said on Friday. "I've never had back problems. You can't really do anything. I can't throw. I can't hit. I can't catch. I've been on all kinds of medicine. It's not really helping me much."

A targeted return date wasn't known, but manager Dusty Baker estimated it could be another week.

"He was taking two steps forward and one step back," Baker said. "If you keep doing that, you might as well say it's not day-to-day. They say it's muscular. Nothing in the vertebrae or nerves or anything like that."

Ross, who turns 31 on March 19, began working out at a local YMCA pool on Thursday and is running and conditioning in the water.

There are three weeks remaining before camp breaks, which means Ross can still catch up. But there's no avoiding the fact that he's behind his teammates. If he's not ready to open the season, the Reds have Javier Valentin and non-roster invitee Paul Bako as catching options.

"I'm trying not to look at it, because it'll make me do stuff," Ross said. "I thought it'd be a two-or-three day thing. It's a crucial time because I want to see pitchers, get my at-bats and stuff. I feel like there are enough at-bats here for me if I have to go to the Minor League side. But I can't wait too long because I need to see all our pitchers and build a rapport, which is important at Spring Training.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080307&content_id=2412054&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

captainmorgan07
03-08-2008, 07:22 PM
we need ross to get healthy quick. He's a great reciever of the baseball and does wonders for our pitching staff. He will help out the young kids alot. I expect his bat to be better this year than it was last year. If it it he can swing a pretty decent stick when hot.

SMcGavin
03-08-2008, 07:44 PM
Our catcher spot was already pretty weak with Ross, it gets awful without him. Let's hope he's ready when the squad heads north.

KySteveH
03-08-2008, 07:52 PM
I still haven't read anything definitive on when he hurt his back originally. Was he already hurt when camp began?

HeatherC1212
03-08-2008, 11:49 PM
I thought it was spasms that started sometime during the early part of spring training before the games started up. Hopefully he gets better soon because he's a huge asset to our pitching staff.

Weasle 25
03-09-2008, 10:26 AM
I like Ross and I hope he comes back to his 2006 form but, I also think the Paul Bako signing was a good one. I know everyone hates the 3 catcher deal and Im not a big fan either but if all goes well I would keep Bako along with Ross and Javy. Ross would get most of the catching and Bako is a great game caller backup guy. Javy should get all the pitch hitting. If Ross stays hurt then Bako gets all the catching duties. I don't care much for Javy behind the plate at a regular basis.

bubbachunk
03-09-2008, 03:32 PM
I like Ross and I hope he comes back to his 2006 form but, I also think the Paul Bako signing was a good one. I know everyone hates the 3 catcher deal and Im not a big fan either but if all goes well I would keep Bako along with Ross and Javy. Ross would get most of the catching and Bako is a great game caller backup guy. Javy should get all the pitch hitting. If Ross stays hurt then Bako gets all the catching duties. I don't care much for Javy behind the plate at a regular basis.

Well said the 3 catchers also benefits for the fact that you do not have to worry pinch hitting javy and not still having a catcher to come off the bench, because lets face it javy was the best pinch hitter we had last year.

gedred69
03-09-2008, 10:19 PM
Sad fact is, the Reds have no better option. Ross's defense is non-pariell. Too bad he can't hit like Valentin, or vice versa. If this team is going to give the ball to the young pitching lions, Ross is the guy to be behind the plate. Not only can he call a game, his arm keeps base-runners hesitant to try him. I would hope there was someone to surpass him, but I don't see who. Bako can catch and call a game, but does he have Ross's arm? Nah. And he won't hit any better either.

BEETTLEBUG
03-10-2008, 05:41 PM
What would it take to get Ramon Hernendez from Orioles

captainmorgan07
03-10-2008, 06:12 PM
Bako is basically just another ross without ross's arm. Oh how we wish ross couldn't have javy's offensive skills. Seriously though we need to either develop a catcher in the next few years or open bobs wallet and go get one.

AmarilloRed
03-13-2008, 09:01 PM
Ross slowly progressing in camp
Catcher participates in 'pen session, looks to swing on Friday
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com


SARASOTA, Fla. -- Catcher David Ross, who has yet to play in an exhibition game because of lower back spasms, is making incremental progress.

Ross caught a bullpen session for the first time on Wednesday and was scheduled to catch another one late Thursday afternoon.

"I felt really good," Ross said on Thursday about catching again. "It was pain-free, no problems."

Last week, after a couple of setbacks from trying to come back too soon, Ross' rehab program was limited to running and lifting in a local pool. He has since transitioned out of the water and on to a stationary bike.

Ross, who hasn't been allowed to run or swing, said he hoped to start swinging a bat again on Friday.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080313&content_id=2424372&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin



Some good news about Ross. We may yet seem him in the Opening Day lineup.

Jerry Narron
03-13-2008, 09:10 PM
What would it take to get Ramon Hernendez from Orioles

Knowing Wayne he'll probably trade a PTBNL for Chad Moeller.

mlbfan30
03-13-2008, 09:43 PM
I'm really annoyed when people say Ross can't hit but Valentine can.
OPS last year... then career
V - .715 - .709
R - .670 - .747
B - .533 - .621

Ross did worse than Valentine last year, but not by much. This kind of proves Bako just can't hit. Also Bako is not a good defensive catcher. He can't throw anymore at all. The only way we keep Bako is if Ross is on the DL. There is NO possible circumstance where we should have 3 catchers.

Krawhitham
03-14-2008, 12:44 AM
0.760 OPS as a red for Valentine

JBChance
03-14-2008, 03:39 AM
Defense-wise, we need Ross back ASAP.

Watching the game threads, a consistent happening is "Bako throws one into center". It's becoming his mantra.

Ross may not be great shakes offensively (see: last year), but defense/ pitcher handling seems to be at least average or better.

Valentin has that pinch-hitter aura that keeps him valuable, so he's here to stay, but I think that Bako must go (and not be replaced). That gives us an extra arm or maybe one of those CF's for a speed/ defensive sub.

NDReds9
03-14-2008, 05:55 AM
Why is Paul Bako still in camp?

Just start Javy and use Tatum as a backup/platoon if you wish.

mlbfan30
03-14-2008, 02:39 PM
Defense-wise, we need Ross back ASAP.

Watching the game threads, a consistent happening is "Bako throws one into center". It's becoming his mantra.

Ross may not be great shakes offensively (see: last year), but defense/ pitcher handling seems to be at least average or better.

Valentin has that pinch-hitter aura that keeps him valuable, so he's here to stay, but I think that Bako must go (and not be replaced). That gives us an extra arm or maybe one of those CF's for a speed/ defensive sub.

This is Valentine's career line as a Pinch Hitter for the Reds
AVG OBP SLG
.218 .281 .371

But yeah... he's a great pinch hitter. I mean, looks at that .652 OPS.... right?

For that person who said Valentine has a .760 OPS for the Reds, It's really .758. And Ross's is .787. Ross is still better at hitting.

JBChance
03-14-2008, 04:24 PM
This is Valentine's career line as a Pinch Hitter for the Reds
AVG OBP SLG
.218 .281 .371

But yeah... he's a great pinch hitter. I mean, looks at that .652 OPS.... right?

For that person who said Valentine has a .760 OPS for the Reds, It's really .758. And Ross's is .787. Ross is still better at hitting.

Not arguing Valentin in lieu of Ross - arguing we need Ross instead of Bako.

Besides, I didn't say Valentin was a great pinch hitter. He is perceived, by some, to be OK in that department. He does hit from both sides, which gives some versatility.

I don't think of Valentin as the answer. Ross is closer, but last year he struggled mightily with the stick. He did hit .203 last year (OPS was .670:scared:) That said, I hope he can turn that around and get back more to where he was previously. Defense-wise he is much better than Javier.

My point is that we either need Ross back as soon (hopefully improving his bat) as he's able or need to find another solution. Past him, we don't have it.

AmarilloRed
03-16-2008, 01:23 PM
Sore back might cost Ross opener
Catcher has yet to see action in Spring Training contest
By Jim Molony / MLB.com


SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Reds' hopes of having David Ross back by Opening Day are dwindling fast. The Reds' starting catcher still hasn't appeared in a Spring Training game because of a sore back.

Ross has been working on conditioning and was hoping to take batting practice Sunday before the Reds' game against Philadelphia at Ed Smith Stadium. But hours before the game, Ross said he is still unable to run.

"I can't run or do some of the things I need to be able to do," he said. "I want to get back out there, but you can't rush these things."

Ross had never had back problems until this spring. He's tried twice this spring to resume hitting and throwing but suffered setbacks each time.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080316&content_id=2430458&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

As previously mentioned, we need Ross back yesterday because we have no catching depth. As for why Bako is still here, he is here because Ross is injured. That's it.

JBChance
03-17-2008, 12:29 AM
".... and Bako throws one into center...."

:bang:

Casey
03-17-2008, 08:07 PM
Depth at catcher is going to be a huge issue...we need a healthy Ross back soon.

Edd Roush
03-17-2008, 08:44 PM
Watching the Reds' on TV for the first time this spring, I honestly thought Bako was a pitcher the way he looked at the bat. He looked downright awful. If he can't make the throw down to second base, what kind of redeeming qualities does he have?

I would start Valentin every day until Ross gets back. I hate trashing players, but Bako doesn't have many positives.

Jerry Narron
03-17-2008, 09:06 PM
".... and Bako throws one into center...."

:bang:

Over a leaping Juan Castro.

mlbfan30
03-17-2008, 09:20 PM
Over a leaping Juan Castro.

At least Castro can jump. He can't throw, run, or hit, but you need to look at the elite and defining qualities Castro possess. Basically... Castro's hands are gold and he doesn't mind diving for balls that get past him. He's a veteran with plenty of experience, and will be the slap hitting presence this team needs in the #2 spot in the lineup.

AccordinglyReds
03-17-2008, 09:37 PM
I would start Valentin every day until Ross gets back. I hate trashing players, but Bako doesn't have many positives.

I agree. Bako would probably lose a spot to Moeller if he were still here. Valentin should be catching as many games as possible.

sweetsport06
03-18-2008, 12:29 AM
"I suppose that if stats mongers want to sit at their computers and play with these things all day long, that’s their prerogative. But their attempt to introduce these new-age statistics into the game threatens to undermine most fans’ enjoyment of baseball and the human factor therein. People play baseball. Numbers don’t."[35]-Murray Chass