Mark Teixeira could rejoin Yankees on Monday

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We heard yesterday that Mark Teixeira tested his left calf by taking some at-bats and playing an inning in a simulated game. He won’t be able to help the Yankees this weekend in Toronto, but his return isn’t far off.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Teixeira took six at-bats of live batting practice today and is expected to play in an instructional league game tomorrow. Barring any setbacks, he is expected to rejoin the Yankees when they begin the final series of the season Monday against the Red Sox.

“Everything looks pretty good right now,” Joe Girardi said. “He ran better today, said he felt better today. He took a ton of ground balls and he’s going to play in a game tomorrow. Then we’ll go from there. He’s passed every test he was supposed to up to this point. He’s on schedule for what was scheduled, so that’s a good thing.”

Teixeira has appeared in just one game since originally injuring the calf on August 27. While he may not be 100 percent the rest of the way, he could provide a nice boost next week as the Yankees try to hold off the Orioles in the American League East.

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.