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Report: Royals could be interested in Pedro Alvarez

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The Royals could give the Orioles some competition for free agent Pedro Alvarez‘s services in 2017, per a report from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. While the infielder/DH is still in talks with Baltimore, Cafardo doesn’t see the club making a push to re-sign the veteran slugger until late in the offseason. Whether or not they pursue Alvarez hinges somewhat on fellow former Oriole Mark Trumbo, who has yet to settle on a landing spot for the upcoming season.

Alvarez maintained a .249/.322/.504 batting line in 2016, hitting 22 home runs and a career-best .826 OPS in 376 PA with the Orioles. He’s attracted interest around the AL East, with both the Rays and Red Sox linked to the 29-year-old, though nothing serious appears to have materialized just yet. He could fit well within the Royals’ lineup, which has a gaping hole at DH since Kendrys Morales took a three-year, $33 million deal with the Blue Jays last month.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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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.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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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.