Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn’t exactly impressive in his late-season action for the Mets, starting seven games with a 4.42 ERA and 33/16 K/BB ratio in 39 innings, but he was apparently impressive enough to re-sign.
Matsuzaka will be back with the Mets on a minor-league deal, which includes an invitation to spring training and a chance to compete for an Opening Day roster spot at age 33.
Matsuzaka hasn’t been an above-average pitcher since his second MLB season in 2008, compiling a 5.41 ERA in 62 starts since then, and he wasn’t particularly effective at Triple-A last season either.
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.