Making official what was speculated about last week the Angels have signed Mark Mulder to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Mulder hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2008 and hasn’t been healthy and effective in the majors since 2005, so he’s certainly a long shot at age 36.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean indicated to reporters last month that Mulder was seeking a major-league contract and 40-man roster spot, but that always seemed highly unlikely and sure enough he’ll have to compete for a gig with the Angels.
Mulder was reportedly throwing in the low-90s during a recent tryout for teams.
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.