Red Sox catcher David Ross isn’t known for being an intimidating hitter, although his three homers so far have been absolute blasts.
What he is known for is his strong defense. He threw out a National League-leading 48 percent of base stealers in 2009 as a member of the Atlanta Braves. He also caught 44 percent of base stealers last year.
Entering Friday, Red Sox pitchers have combined for a 2.69 ERA with Ross catching.
The 36-year-old signed with the Red Sox this offseason partly because he saw the potential of the rotation. He wanted to work with hurlers such as Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester.
“Catching a good pitching staff is like priority No. 1,” Ross said. “When I looked up and down their roster there’s a lot of good pitchers here.”
Ross recently went one-on-one with Eagle-Tribune baseball writer Christopher Smith who writes the Smitty on Baseball blog on the Tribune website.
Smitty: Junichi Tazawa has been throwing his fastball almost 70 percent of the time this year. Will he need to mix his pitches more if he becomes a starter or closer in the coming years?
Ross: Yeah. You can’t be too predictable in the closer role either. You can be under the radar a little bit in the seventh and eighth. But in the ninth inning everyone kind of locks in and watches a lot of film of a closer, trying to get that edge.
Smitty: Koji Uehara gets pretty pumped up after a clean inning. Anyone else have that energy?
Ross: I love that about him. I love the energy. You know who else does that? Andrew Bailey brings a great energy on the mound. He’s coming and it’s almost like he needs to slow down. You’ve got to calm him down. Koji is real poised but he really is excited when he gets out of it. He takes his job very seriously and he understands how important his inning is. And that’s why he is so excited.