Brewers reach minor league deal with Francisco Rodriguez

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From Brewers director of media relations Mike Vassallo comes word that the Brewers have reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent right-hander Francisco Rodriguez.

K-Rod passed his pre-signing physical on Wednesday morning at the Brewers’ spring training complex in Maryvale, Arizona.

The 31-year-old posted a rough 4.38 ERA across 72 innings last season for the Brew Crew and failed to attract many offers on the open market this winter. But the Brewers’ bullpen has been awful in the early going and they’re suddenly desperate for depth.

Rodriguez will probably spend a few weeks at extended spring training, but he could eventually be tried at closer in Milwaukee if John Axford is unable to get on track and Jim Henderson can’t handle the job either. K-Rod owns a 2.70 career ERA, a 1.18 career WHIP and 294 career saves in 11 major league seasons.

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.