Josh Hamilton to start hitting off a tee Wednesday

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Josh Hamilton, who has been shelved for three weeks with a broken humerus sustained sliding into home plate, will begin swinging off a tee Wednesday, the Rangers revealed today.

Hamilton has been playing catch and shagging flyballs in his rehab and is considered about a week ahead of schedule. The Rangers originally said he’d be out 6-8 weeks with the injury. If he can avoid any setbacks, a return during the May 23-29 homestand against the White Sox and Royals seems possible.

With Hamilton sidelined, the Rangers have alternated Julio Borbon and David Murphy in center field, with Mitch Moreland shifting back and forth between first base and the right field. Borbon could be at risk of being sent back to the minors when Hamilton returns, though he has some time left to secure his spot.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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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.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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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.