Doctors recommend Tommy John surgery for Ivan Nova

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Ivan Nova went for a second opinion after being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and another doctor agreed with the initial verdict, recommending that the Yankees right-hander undergo season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery.

Tommy John surgery would knock Nova out for the remainder of this season and put his status for the beginning of 2015 in question as well. And given his arbitration eligibility next offseason and current $3.3 million salary there’s a decent chance the Yankees could end up releasing him into the open market.

Nova bounced back from a rough 2012 season to have a very nice 2013 campaign, throwing 139 innings with a 3.10 ERA, but he got knocked around for an 8.27 ERA and league-high six homers allowed in four starts this year before being shut down.

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.