The Indians call up Cord Phelps, start him at second base today

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Prospect hounds and Indians fans will find this interesting: Cleveland called up infield prospect Cord Phelps today, and started him at second base in the game going on right now against the Twins. He grounded out to second in his first at bat.

Phelps was a third round pick in the 2008 draft. So far this year at Columbus he has hit 299/.391/.488.  Throughout his minor league career he has shown a good eye and gap power.  A switch hitter, Phelps is particularly effective against right-handers. Given that the Indians’ usual second baseman Orlando Cabrera is decidedly not, we can probably assume that there will be a platoon there for a good while.

To make room for Phelps, the Indians optioned Shelley Duncan back here to Columbus. Which, on the merits probably isn’t fair to Duncan, but makes a lot of roster sense given that he has an option left.  And hey, my daughter will be happy that he’s back in town, so there’s that.

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.