Jesse Crain was activated from the disabled list this week after missing three months with a shoulder strain, but he has yet to appear in a game. And it’s now possible that he’ll never throw a pitch for the Rays.
Rays manager Joe Maddon told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune that Crain didn’t feel right throwing Tuesday after he warmed up during Monday’s game. As a result, his availability for the rest of the season and the playoffs is in question.
Crain had a dominant 0.74 ERA and 46/11 K/BB ratio over 36 2/3 innings with the White Sox prior to landing on the disabled list. The Rays acquired the veteran reliever at the trade deadline in hopes that he would be able to contribute down the stretch, but progress has been hard to come by.
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.