Craig Kimbrel throws, says his shoulder feels “great”

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Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was unavailable to pitch on Monday because of soreness in his right shoulder. But it’s apparently only a minor thing.

According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the right-hander threw a 15-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon and declared himself “ready” to return to action. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was noncommittal about using Kimbrel on Wednesday night in Philadelphia because the local forecast calls for near-freezing temperatures, but he should be a go for Thursday.

“I threw today, ramped it up to see what it felt like, and it felt great,” Kimbrel told the Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “So it’s exciting. I’m ready to get back out there in a save situation.”

The 25-year-old has a ridiculous 1.39 career ERA and 15.2 career K/9 in 233 major league innings.

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.