Diamondbacks do two-year, $5M deal with Cliff Pennington

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From ESPN’s Buster Olney comes word that the Diamondbacks have inked Cliff Pennington to a two-year, $5 million contract. The agreement covers the shortstop’s first two years of arbitration eligibility.

Pennington batted .215/.278/.311 with six homers, 18 doubles and 28 RBI in 462 plate appearances last season for the Athletics. He was traded to Arizona in late October — along with infield prospect Yordy Cabrera — in exchange for outfielder Chris Young.

Pennington will serve as a buffer at shortstop for the Snakes until Didi Gregorius is ready for the major leagues.

The 28-year-old former first-round pick is a .249/.313/.356 career hitter in the bigs.

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.