Friday's Quick Hits

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– Fernando Martinez was sent back down to Triple-A by the Mets after hitting .194/.286/.274 in 62 at-bats over 18 games.

Once it was determined that Gary Sheffield’s knees were good enough
to allow him to return to left field, it was expected that Martinez
would be sent down, though the thinking was that the Mets would wait
until Angel Pagan was ready to come off the DL. Instead, they’ve called
up Nick Evans to serve as a bench player for now. Martinez didn’t have
any notable hustling issues after getting himself into trouble
initially, and while he never homered in his 62 at-bats, he also didn’t
seem overmatched while striking out just 10 times. In all, his debut
went about as should have been expected.

– The Yankees have chosen to rest Alex Rodriguez for two games following an 0-for-15 slump.

Not sure I agree with this. The Yankees just ended another
homestand, and getting A-Rod out of new Yankee Stadium should help his
hitting woes. It seemed like he was trying to hit one over the
extremely inviting walls with every swing lately, and he was just
6-for- 51 in the Bronx this month. While eight of his nine homers have
come at Yankee Stadium, he’s had a better approach on the road, hitting
.254/.389/.373 in 59 at-bats to date. At home, he’s hit .178/.355/.534.

– Reds prospect Yonder Alonso, the seventh overall pick in the 2008
draft, was placed on the minor league DL with a broken hamate bone.

Alonso was hitting .246/.309/.377 in 16 games since moving up to
Double-A Carolina. Before that, he was hitting .302/.378/.503 in 169
at-bats for Single-A Sarasota. Alonso should be ready to play again in
4-6 weeks, but players who suffer broken hamate bones tend to suffer
from power outages for months after returning. There wasn’t much chance
that we’d see him in September anyway.

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)
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.