Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cubs have traded Tom Gorzelanny to the Nationals for three minor leaguers.
The lefty Gorzelanny was 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 29 appearances, 23 of which were starts last season. But now that the Cubs have Matt Garza in the fold to go along with Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells and Carlos Silva, there wasn’t a huge need for him. If the Cubs want to go with someone besides Silva they can give James Russell starts, as Levine mentions. Gorzelanny is arbitration-eligible this year too, so the Cubs save a couple of bucks by moving him.
For the Nats, Gorzelanny enters into a rotation with Livan Hernandez, Jordan Zimmerman and a lot of anonymity, so he represents an improvement. No sense yet of what they’re giving up, however, so this deal could look better or worse depending on who those minor leaguers are.
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.