Chien-Ming Wang and Nationals continue to talk contract

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It took a pair of one-year contracts for the Nationals to get some value out of Chien-Ming Wang, who finally returned to the mound in the second half after missing two calendar years following shoulder surgery, and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Washington is working to re-sign him.

According to Ladson both sides are interested in getting a deal done and have been negotiating for a while now, but nothing is close to happening.

Wang wasn’t his pre-surgery self upon returning, as his fastball velocity was down two miles per hour and he induced fewer ground balls. He also served up eight homers in 62 innings after throwing 131 innings per eight homers allowed with the Yankees.

Along with a putrid strikeout rate of 3.6 per nine innings that suggests his raw stuff was either lost to surgery or still needs more time to return. Yet despite thrower slowing, inducing fewer grounders, and barely missing any bats Wang still managed to be effective in 11 starts, posting a 4.04 ERA while walking just 13 batters in 62 innings.

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.