Boston Red Sox: 5 Reasons Cody Ross Was a Masterful Addition for Right Field

Andre Khatchaturian@AndreKhatchCorrespondent IIIJanuary 24, 2012

Boston Red Sox: 5 Reasons Cody Ross Was a Masterful Addition for Right Field

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    The Boston Red Sox signed outfielder Cody Ross on Monday night, finally finding the man who will replace J.D. Drew, whose monster contract expired this offseason. 

    Ross isn't the type of guy who's going to hit 30 home runs and drive 100 runners home. But the Red Sox don't need that guy. They already have enough of those players in Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Jacoby Ellsbury.

    What Ross brings is experience and a number of other attributes the Red Sox were lacking last season. 

    Here are five reasons why the Cody Ross signing was a great one for the Red Sox. 

He Doesn't Get Hurt

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    Last year, J.D. Drew only played in 81 regular season games.

    He had an injury-riddled season, and the Red Sox had to use guys like Josh Reddick and Darnell McDonald to fill in his spot.

    The year before that, the Red Sox as a team were plagued with injuries all season and did not make the playoffs because of it.

    With Cody Ross, they're assured of health throughout the season. Ross has played in at least 120 games ever year in the last five seasons.

    He's also versatile and can play all three outfield positions, meaning if other players get hurt, he can replace them in those spots.

Right-Handed Bat

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    Although the Red Sox offense was extremely potent last season even with all the left-handed bats, perhaps switching it up with Ross' right-handed bat will do the Sox good.

    Last season, J.D. Drew, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez clogged the middle of the order with left-handed bats.

    This may not seem like a huge problem (and it really wasn't, considering the Red Sox lineup was so stacked), but adding another right-handed bat will really help out the Sox, considering they play in a right-handed hitter's ballpark with the Green Monster lurking just over 300 feet away.

    Having Ross mixed in with those left-handed hitters will also make it more difficult for opposing teams to match up with their relievers late in games.

    They can't just bring in a lefty specialist to take care of three guys at once, for instance, because of Ross' presence as a right-handed bat.

Clutch Factor

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    The Red Sox September collapse has been well documented.

    Having a clutch player like Cody Ross in the lineup while the downward spiral was happening could've been a great help for the Sox.

    Back in 2010, Ross exemplified his clutch ability all throughout the postseason.

    In the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, Ross hit the game-deciding home run in Game 4 and was instrumental in their series victory because of that.

    Then in the NLCS, he smashed two home runs off Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay in Game 1. Following that performance, he hit another homer in Game 2 against Roy Oswalt. 

    He added a home run in the World Series against the Texas Rangers as the San Francisco Giants went on to win the title. 

    What's most impressive about Ross' postseason home runs is that three of them actually broke up no-hitters. That demonstrates Ross' clutch prowess once again, because it shows that he isn't fazed by a pitcher's dominating performance. He's also not afraid of the moment. 

    He just steps up and does his thing, and that's the kind of player the Red Sox have missed since the young David Ortiz. 

Ross the Boss

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    No, not Stan Ross from the Bernie Mac movie, Mr. 3000.

    It's Cody Ross the Boss.

    Any follower of the Red Sox will tell you that the team had started to become a bit more serious as of late.

    No more Manny Being Manny. No more Jonathan Papelbon doing Irish jigs. No more Kevin Millar. 

    Ross the Boss will quickly become a fan favorite in Boston, and this is great for the team. He'll be a fantastic clubhouse guy, and his teammates will like him.

    This is pretty important to have on a team with stiffs like Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. 

Great Fielder

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    Last but not least, Ross brings a great defensive presence to the expansive Fenway right field.

    He's only made one error in the last two seasons. He's definitely not afraid to flash some leather.

    As mentioned before, his versatility will allow him to play all three positions in the outfield.

    Ross also has a career fielding percentage of .988, which is above the league average of .983.