Rocco Balldelli hit another tater today....that's back to back days with a homerun against lefty pitching...but perhaps more importantly, it's back to back days just having Rocco in the lineup.
Many people hear his name and quickly follow it jokingly with a yawn or fake limp, but not me, I'm somehow optimistic that my Rhody buddy can provide the Sox with a solid option off the bench in PH situations....and also fill in nicely when JD Drew inevitibly suffers from back problems or a hang nail. This could be blind optimism seeing how he's only hitting .194 this spring, but he openly admits to always having bad preseasons...
.....“No. I usually don’t hit tremendously well in spring training. Feels like I forget how to hit in the offseason, and then it takes me a little while when I get back. But it’s not something I’ve ever really worried about or pressed too much when trying to get ready for the season. I don’t know how many AB’s I’ve got, but I think I’ll be ready to go … I don’t hit that many home runs. I just try to hit the ball, that’s all I really try to do. I don’t really get caught up in that other stuff.”
Additional thoughts from Rocco....
In regards to his overall health/strength: "Better than they did last spring – but I didn’t make it through last spring training , so that’s not really saying much.” Awesome, thanks for the insight Rocco.
Overall: “I mean, I feel alright. I could always be seeing the ball better, making more hard contact consistently. But I feel pretty good, and I’m happy with how spring training is going so far.”
Sure he's an Italian from Rhode Island so that automatically increases his stock in my book, but something about the guy makes me want to see him succeed. I feel like he's been in the league forever, yet he's only 27 years old....if healthy, his best years could still be ahead of him (could being the key word there). I want to be the guy who says "I called it" when Rocco has a productive year, I really do....not only so I can tell everyone about it, but so the Sox get some reward out of their investment in the former Ray.
Rocco appeaers to be a normal, everyday guy who plays the game right, but injuries have put him on the back burner of everyone's mind. However, between being in a big market, and finally getting healthy, this is the year Rocco makes a "partial comeback"...I'm calling it. Don't let me down Rocco, don't you dare let me down....and make sure to stretch before and after all activity.