Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that Theo Epstein is truly on the fence about leaving Boston, with one source close to Epstein saying that it’s 50-50 Epstein would take another job.
It’s all rather touchy-feely, of course. Epstein may want to go to find a new challenge, but he feels a loyalty to the organization and has a year left on his deal. Meanwhile, owner John Henry loves Theo and seems to want him to stay but, according to Edes “there also is the sense that the loyalty Epstein feels toward Henry is reciprocal, and that Henry would not stand in the way if Epstein wanted to pursue another opportunity.”
So if he goes, where does he go? Everyone talks about the Cubs, but the Angels job just opened up too, Edes reminds us. As for a Theo replacement, Edes’ sources believe strongly that assistant GM Ben Cherington would get the nod.
How does this resolve itself? It seems that a job offer will set things in motion, not a firing of or a resignation by Epstein. He’ll leave if he can find a job he likes. If not, he’s back.
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.