Report: Braves move on from Glavine

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With his second scoop of the day, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Braves have released Tom Glavine.

This comes as quite a shock, especially in light of him pitching six
scoreless innings in his last rehab start and posting a 2.25 ERA in
four outings overall. All indications were that the Braves were about
to slot him into their rotation.

Still, it could well be the right move for the team. It looks like
the Braves are making a commitment to their younger pitchers, namely
Kris Medlen and Tommy Hanson. After two shaky starts to begin his
career, Medlen fanned nine and allowed one run over six innings in a
win over the Diamondbacks over the weekend. Hanson has a 1.49 ERA and a
90/17 K/BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings in Triple-A.

With the super-two deadline having passed, the Braves can go to
Hanson any time they want. Had they opted to give Glavine the spot in
the rotation that Medlen was occupying, then it’s doubtful Hanson would
have been needed in June. However, now it’s again likely that we’ll see
Hanson this month, perhaps with Medlen sliding to the bullpen.

It’s quite realistic that Glavine could have come back and given the
Braves a 4.50 ERA in 20-22 starts over the rest of the season. However,
the Braves are one of the relatively few teams in baseball that don’t
really need another starter like that. Also, they would have been
adding at least $2 million-$3 million to their payroll by putting
Glavine on the roster. That money can be better used in upgrading the
outfield.

Let’s hope this isn’t the end for Glavine. He clearly didn’t want to
pitch anywhere other than Atlanta, but after putting in this much time
rehabbing, he’s not likely to want to call it a career. Philadelphia,
Florida and Milwaukee look like the most obvious destinations for him.
There’s been talk of him joining the Nationals in the past, mostly
because of the Stan Kasten connection, but it’s doubtful that he’ll
want to finish up as part of baseball’s worst team.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.