– The Red Sox have decided to place Mike Lowell on the disabled
list to give him additional time to recover after having his hip
drained and receiving an injection Monday.
Lowell’s play had fallen off over the last month, and it might be for
the best that he rests through the All-Star break. The move would seem
to guarantee that Kevin Youkilis will be eligible at third base in
fantasy leagues again next year. Mark Kotsay and Jeff Bailey will
platoon at first base for now. If Lowell is still having problems after
the break, then the Red Sox could go with Jed Lowrie at third.
– Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom, who went on the DL last week with a sprained elbow ligament, says he’s ahead of schedule and he hopes to begin playing catch on Friday.
Lindstrom was put on a schedule for good reason: partially torn
ligaments don’t miraculously heal. He was told not to throw for four
weeks when he went down on June 24. If he tries to rush back, it will
only become more likely that he’ll end up requiring surgery.
– Jack Wilson, perhaps no longer as interested in an extension as he was during the offseason, made it clear that he wasn’t happy about the Pirates trading Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Nationals.
“The bottom line is, even if this trade does work out, it’s not
going to matter to 80 percent of the people in here,” Wilson said. “And
over the years, these trades haven’t worked. Show me the ones that have
Jason Christiansen to the Cardinals for Wilson is one that turned out OK.
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.
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.