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Will catchers soon have headsets in their helmets?

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Teddy Cahill of Baseball America tells us about a new innovation in the never-ending struggle to speed up games: catcher headsets.

Just as quarterbacks never call their own plays anymore and, instead, have them radioed in to them from the sidelines, catchers rarely call their own pitches anymore and have signs relayed to them from the dugout. While it doesn’t seem to take a ton of time to get the signs, it does require the catcher to take his attention off the field and everyone to momentarily stand down. Over the course of 300 pitches in a game a catcher being able to simply set up and listen, rather than look over, is not a trivial amount of time.

Cahill explains how the technology is being tested in the college ranks. If it works, don’t be surprised if you hear about it being tested by the pros soon.

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.