Sad news for the Rays. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that former shortstop top prospect Tim Beckham will miss a significant portion of the 2014 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. Beckham was taken by the Rays first overall in the 2008 draft. He made Baseball America’s top-100 prospects list in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010.
Beckham, who turns 24 at the end of January, got his first taste of the Majors as a September call-up last season. In eight plate appearances, he had three hits (all singles) and did not strike out. He repeated at Triple-A Durham over the last two seasons, posting a .686 OPS in 2012 and a .729 OPS.
Fortunately, the Rays already have Yunel Escobar at shortstop after picking up his $5 million option for 2014 back in November. However, they’ll lack the flexibility to trade him closer to the trade deadline as he has only one more $5 million club option remaining for 2015.
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.