Bruce Chen commits to Team China for 2013 WBC

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CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Royals left-hander Bruce Chen has agreed to pitch for Team China in the 2013 World Baseball Classic after spending the 2009 WBC with Team Panama.

Chen, who was born in Panama City, Panama but is of Chinese descent, posted a 5.07 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 140/47 K/BB ratio across 191 2/3 innings last season for Kansas City. He’s set to earn $4.5 million in 2013 on the final chapter of a two-year, $9 million free agent deal that was struck in November 2011.

Chen turns 36 years old in June and the next World Baseball Classic won’t take place until 2017, so this was likely the final chance for him to represent the homeland of his grandparents.

China finished 15th out of 16 teams in the inaugural WBC back in 2006 and 11th in 2009.

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.