Chris Perez on track to resume mound work this week

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Indians closer Chris Perez is making a steady recovery from the oblique strain that he suffered during his first bullpen session of the spring, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, and may be ready to resume mound workouts this week.

Perez, who was originally prescribed a recovery timetable of 4-6 weeks, has already progressed to throwing long toss at a distance of 105 feet.

Once he’s able to extend that to 120 feet, the Indians’ medical staff will clear him for bullpen sessions and then live batting practice.

“I feel good,” Perez told reporters Saturday in Indians camp. “Right now, everything is based on how I’m feeling each day and I’m feeling really good.”

The 26-year-old right-hander posted a 3.32 ERA in 59 2/3 innings last year, saving 36 games in 40 tries. If he’s not ready by Opening Day, early save chances will likely go to talented setup man Vinnie Pestano.

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.