Ryan Zimmerman is headed for the disabled list with an abdominal strain and Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington reports that the Nationals will replace him on the roster with Jesus Flores, which would give them three catchers along with Ivan Rodriguez and Wilson Ramos.
All three guys hit right-handed, so there isn’t really a natural platoon to be formed, and the Nationals have indicated recently that they’re committed to giving Ramos the majority of the action behind the plate because he’s passed Flores as the catcher of the future.
By adding a third catcher it allows manager Jim Riggleman to a) pinch-hit for a catcher without worrying about not having another catcher on the bench, and b) use Rodriguez more often at first base. The first thing is of marginal value and the second thing is of negative value, so while it’s nice to see Flores get back to the majors following two years of shoulder problems the move doesn’t make a ton of sense.
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.