Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross was a guest of the Mut & Merloni Show on Tuesday. Ross -- batting .257 with five home runs and 21 RBI in his first season with the Sox -- was asked about Will Middlebrooks. The third baseman slugged a pair of home runs in Monday's win over the Royals and is hitting .381 with an OPS of 1.361 in 21 at-bats since being promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket on May 2.
"He's got a ton of potential," Ross said of Middlebrooks. "To do what he's done has been outstanding, I'm so happy for him, he's such a good kid. He works hard, does everything the right way and everyone can see his potential. … The future is really bright for him, he's definitely going to be a really, really good player for a long time."
Much has been made of the relationship between Bobby Valentine and the players, but Ross was quick to defend the manager when asked to evaluate Valentine's performance this season.
"We all came in with an open mind, and so did he," Ross said. "He's been great, he's very energetic, he wants us all to succeed and tries to put us all in the best possible situation. It's been tough for him, too, they've got to him quite a bit. But he's handled it well and he's encouraging. He's picking us up all the time, telling us we'll get through it. It's all positive stuff, which is good. It's what we need from our leader."