Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that Brandon Webb was “sore” following an eight-minute bullpen session yesterday, which is to be expected from a pitcher who hasn’t seen game action since Opening Day of 2009 because of shoulder problems.
For now the Rangers are planning to have him throw every three days–rather than the standard every-other-day schedule for most pitchers in camp–which means he’ll take the mound again Sunday barring any setbacks.
As pitching coach Mike Maddux explained: “This is a guy that hasn’t thrown for two years. We don’t want to put the cart before the horse with him. We’re going to take our time. We have to build some strength.”
There’s no timetable yet for when Webb will begin facing live hitters or advance to game action, but the Rangers are still hopeful that he’ll be ready for Opening Day after signing Webb to an incentive-laden one-year contract that guarantees the former Cy Young winner $3 million.
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.