Uh… The Astros may re-sign Willy Taveras

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Taveras Ivy.JPGUPDATE: It looks like this thing might actually happen.  Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle reports that Astros assistant GM David Gottfried contacted Taveras’
agent, Barry Praver, soon after the outfielder’s release on Tuesday.  A minor league contract was indeed discussed.

7:41pm: According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Astros general manager Ed Wade is open to the idea of bringing back outfielder Willy Taveras on a minor league deal.

Taveras (and the $4 million remaining on his contract) was released by the A’s this afternoon after garnering zero interest on the waiver wire.  The 28-year-old batted .240/.275/.285 in 404 at-bats last season for the Reds and, as Aaron noted earlier, has hit just .246./.293/.291 in 235 games over the past two seasons.

“Willy brings the
speed element and he’s a very popular guy in town and with our
organization,” Wade told Crasnick on Tuesday.

Taveras played for the Astros from 2004-2006 and never finished with an OPS over .675 or more than 25 extra-base hits.  It doesn’t seem like a wise pickup for an organization that should be handing any available playing time to youngsters, but this is Houston we’re talking about.  Wade and Co. have a long history of questionable moves, which is why the club is in such a poor state heading into the 2010 season.

Come to think of it, the perennially disappointing Taveras should fit right in with the Astros’ crop of aging, overpaid veterans.  It’s going to be a long season in oil country.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.