Carlos Quentin “optimistic” about Opening Day readiness

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Carlos Quentin’s return from offseason knee surgery involved being sidelined for nearly two weeks with soreness, but he’s back playing in minor-league games and saw action defensively for the first time yesterday.

Quentin told Corey Brock of MLB.com that “it went really well” and made it clear that he hasn’t ruled out being ready for Opening Day, saying: “That’s the goal. I still believe I’ll have that opportunity.”

Quentin has a long history of injuries and missed the first two months of last season following a different knee surgery. He played in just 86 games last year and had to go under the knife again in October. In between all the knee problems he hit .261 with 16 homers and an .877 OPS, which convinced the Padres to give him a three-year, $27 million extension in July.

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.