Marco Estrada is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring injury and the Brewers will replace him on the roster with Triple-A right-hander Tyler Thornburg.
Estrada injured his hamstring during Monday’s start, continuing a rough season that has seen him serve up a league-high 14 homers on the way to a 5.32 ERA. His performance has been particularly disappointing considering how well Estrada pitched last year in his first shot as a full-time starter for the Brewers.
Thornburg pitched fairly well in his 22-inning debut last season, but has struggled mightily at Triple-A this year with a 6.75 ERA in 12 starts. However, he has racked up 64 strikeouts in 56 innings and the 2010 third-round pick pitched very well at Triple-A in the second half of last season.
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.