David Ross, 31, was hitting .231/.381/.366 with three homers in 173 plate appearances before he was released by the Reds. He’s played parts of seven seasons with four clubs and has been with Cincinnati for the last three.
Beerleaguer: The Phillies have a history of adding cheap catching depth after the non-waiver trade deadline. Remember they added Pete LaForest, a quad-A journeyman, at the end of last season. Although he wields a garden-variety bat for a backup, it would still be a good little move to upgrade the bench. Ross is a polished defender who could call a good game, keep base runners honest and pop the occasional home run. After Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste, Jason Jaramillo would be next in line in case of emergency, and the Phils appear in no rush to see what he can do in the majors.
Although it’s probably just a little too late to mix up the battery mates, especially with the pitching staff going this strong, they could still try to ease Ross into the fold. He’s only hitting .231, but Coste is hitting .172 in August following a .208 month of July, and Ruiz hasn’t hit consistently all season, although his numbers have improved lately. Ross could hang out in the minors until rosters expand next month. I would not anticipate a roster move to make room for him immediately should they sign him.
Ross, who’s two years removed from a 21-homer, 130 OPS+ season, signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract in the 2007 off-season that includes an option for 2009, so there’s a long-term benefit if they decide to go in a different direction behind the plate next season. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. The immediate impact is help on the bench.