Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Rangers have signed reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invite to major league spring training.
Perez turns 32 years old in May and hasn’t appeared in the majors since left shoulder surgery in September of 2012. He pitched in the minors with the Twins and Red Sox last year, posting a 2.60 ERA and 32/8 K/BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A.
Perez owns a 3.64 ERA over 338 appearances in the majors, all with the Indians. He has made 70 or more appearances in three seasons, so the heavy workload obviously took a toll on his arm, but the Rangers are hoping that he’ll be able to revive his career or at least serve as bullpen depth in the minor leagues.
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.