Alex Rodriguez returns to Yankees’ lineup after thumb injury

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After missing the past two games with a sprained thumb Alex Rodriguez is back in the Yankees’ lineup today, playing third base and batting cleanup against the A’s.

Rodriguez missed 38 games following knee surgery and lasted just one game before suffering the thumb injury, going 0-for-5 against the Twins in his return Sunday.

He hasn’t played back-to-back games since June 6 and 7 but the Yankees haven’t missed a beat without Rodriguez, going 44-25 during that time while Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez split starts at third base.

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.