Pfun Pfact, via FanGraphs: The White Sox, Indians, Athletics, Red Sox and Mariners have DHs that are hitting worse than the pitchers for the Astros and Diamondbacks. Pitchers for the Padres and Rockies are hitting better than the DHs for Boston and Seattle.
In other news, Jermaine Dye and Gary Sheffield are out of work for some reason,Jack Cust is playing in the minor leagues and Jim Thome blows a kiss to Ozzie Guillen from afar.
Some of this is likely to improve soon, of course. For one thing, Austin Kearns’ recent raking is likely to lead to more of him and less of Travis Hafner in Cleveland. Likewise, Terry Francona’s increasing comfort with pinch hitting for and simply not starting David Ortiz is the sort of thing that can snowball into something fun. Like, say, the Sox simply deciding that Mike Lowell is the better DH option and sending Big Papi packing.
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.
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.