Ryan Zimmerman set to begin rehab assignment tonight

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Ryan Zimmerman will begin a brief minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.

Barring a setback with his hamstring injury Zimmerman is expected to play two games at Single-A, take a day off, and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the Nationals’ lineup Friday.

Zimmerman hit .226 with one homer and a .670 OPS in 15 games before straining his hamstring on April 17. Initially the Nationals turned to rookie call-up Anthony Rendon as his replacement at third base, but lately manager Davey Johnson has also been using Stephen Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy.

Rendon figures to head back to the minors once Zimmerman is healthy.

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.