Looper at home, 'waiting for an acceptable offer'

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that Braden Looper “is doing all he can to stay in shape at home near Chicago, waiting for an acceptable offer” from the Dodgers (or another team, in theory).
Los Angeles was linked to Looper throughout the offseason, particularly once their other starter targets like Joel Pineiro and Jon Garland signed elsewhere, but Gurnick notes that the Dodgers are still only willing to give the veteran right-hander a minor-league deal.
Not only is Looper holding out for a guaranteed contract, he reportedly turned down an offer from the Nationals last month. All of which takes a lot of … well, let’s say courage, from a 35-year-old who had a 5.22 ERA in 194.2 innings last season while serving up a league-high 39 homers.
Looper was a full-time reliever until 2007, and since then he has a 4.75 ERA in 97 starts. In other words he’s a 35-year-old fifth starter coming off a terrible season and the Dodgers are willing to pay him as such, but Looper wants more. Good luck. Right now the Dodgers have Eric Stults, Scott Elbert, James McDonald, Charlie Haeger, Ramon Ortiz, and Russ Ortiz competing for the final rotation spot.

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.