Dodgers sell Eric Stults to Japanese team

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Eric Stults failed in his bid to be the Dodgers’ fifth starter and now Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 30-year-old southpaw has been sold to the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese League.
While the destination is surprising the move isn’t, as the Dodgers were first rumored to be shopping Stults last week. He’s spent parts of the past four seasons in Los Angeles, compiling an 8-10 record and 4.84 ERA in 145 innings split between the rotation and bullpen.
After selling Stults to Japan and demoting James McDonald to Triple-A competition for the Dodgers’ final rotation spot is now down to Ramon Ortiz, Charlie Haeger, Russ Ortiz, and Carlos Monasterios. Ramon Ortiz is considered the favorite at age 37 despite not pitching in the majors since 2007 and not posting an ERA below 5.00 since 2004. And to think, Dodgers fans thought Vicente Padilla on Opening Day was bad …

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.