Via ESPN’s Bruce Levine, as the title suggests:
Robin Ventura names Chris Sale opening day starter.
Jake Peavy was the other candidate for the honor, but wholeheartedly endorsed sale. Peavy said, “Chris is the best pitcher on the team. Your best guy goes opening day.”
Sale, who turns 24 years old in two weeks, finished the 2012 season (his first as a starting pitcher) with a 3.05 ERA and finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting. The lefty, listed at 6’6″, 180, is said to have added 10-15 pounds over the off-season.
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.