For the second time in a month Daric Barton was placed on waivers by the A’s and passed through without being claimed by any of the other 29 teams.
Our own Bill Baer wondered over the weekend if Barton could be a fit for the Mets or other teams getting little production from first base, but instead he’ll remain with the A’s at Triple-A after a brief call-up in which he went 3-for-21 with a homer.
Barton was once a stud prospect who cracked Baseball America‘s top 100 in four straight years and he led the league in walks while posting a .393 on-base percentage for the A’s as a 24-year-old in 2010, but he’s hit just .203 in 121 games since then and his lack of power is a major issue if he’s not getting on base at a great rate. Still, at age 27 and considering all the drek on 40-man rosters across MLB he seems worthy of a flier.
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.