Trade for Ryan Theriot has Cardinals shopping Brendan Ryan

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Earlier this week the Cardinals acquired Ryan Theriot from the Dodgers and made it clear they plan to start him at shortstop, so not surprisingly Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “the Cardinals have let other teams know Brendan Ryan is available and they’ll look to trade him during next week’s winter meetings in Florida, if not sooner.”

“I think he still has some ways that he can help the Cardinals, but if there is a deal out there that makes sense for us we should pursue it,” general manager John Mozeliak told Goold. “We need to be open to having those discussions.”

Ryan had a miserable season at the plate, hitting just .223 with a measly .573 OPS, but he’s an elite defensive shortstop and out-hit Theriot in 2009. He’s also two years younger than Theriot and significantly cheaper, although Goold notes “Ryan’s extroverted personality and occasional antics” along with his “reputation for being flighty.”

At the very least Ryan would make an excellent utility man and the various shortstop-needy teams kicking the tires on guys like Jason Bartlett or J.J. Hardy should definitely be giving Mozeliak a call.

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.