Jon Heyman tweets that Trevor Hoffman wants to pitch in 2011 if someone will give him a chance to close.
My first thought: what’s with him and Edgar Renteria? One ended 2011 on top, and the other ended 2011 well enough — 600th save! — to make everyone forget how much of a train wreck his year was, so why not just ride off into the sunset? The future is way more likely to hold an Apollo Creed/Ivan Drago beatdown for those guys than it is to hold a return to All-Star form.
My second thought — and it wasn’t my thought: Gleeman told me I was being too hard on Hoffman based on his second half numbers — is that things could theoretically work out for Hoffman. While all of those early-season blown saves caught our attention, his second half — a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 innings with 13 strikeouts, six walks and 15 hits — was decent work. Decent enough to be worth a middle relief job, I’d say. If we wants one and would be willing to take middle relief money, that is.
But as a closer? If Heyman is right and that’s Hoffman’s prerequisite for returning, we’ve likely seen the last of him, because I can’t think of a team that would take that chance.
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.