Former No. 1 overall pick Matt Anderson hoping comeback leads to spot in Phillies’ bullpen

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Matt Anderson was a bust of a No. 1 overall pick for the Tigers in 1997, posting a 5.19 ERA in 257 career innings and throwing his last big-league pitch at age 28 despite lighting up radar guns with a high-90s (and sometimes low-100s) fastball.

He was last seen coughing up 17 runs in 10 innings for the Rockies in 2005 and hasn’t pitched anywhere since a stint in the Puerto Rican winter league several years ago, but now Anderson is making a comeback attempt with the Phillies and he’s actually starting to generate some buzz.

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Anderson is consistently working at 94-96 miles per hour so far in camp and the 34-year-old reliever talked about the renewed focus on baseball that came after being forced out of the game before he was ready. It’s definitely an interesting comeback story and teams will always be intrigued by a mid-90s fastball, but Anderson is facing long odds to crack a Phillies pitching staff that already has plenty of depth.

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.