Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have signed outfielder Brennan Boesch and first baseman Carlos Pena to minor league contracts. Those deals carry invitations to major league spring training, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Boesch signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Yankees last winter but he was released in July after posting a rough .302 on-base percentage in 53 plate appearances. Pena jumped between the Astros and Royals, hitting .207/.321/.346 in 328 plate appearances.
Pena has a good shot at an Opening Day roster spot because he can spell Albert Pujols at first base on days that Pujols needs to DH. Boesch is more of a longshot given the talent in the Anaheim outfield.
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.