Link-O-Rama: Big workload gets Lincecum extra rest

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* Tim Lincecum’s next start has been pushed back one day after he threw a season-high 127 pitches while shutting out the Rockies for eight innings Friday. Lincecum has thrown 115 or more pitches in six of his last seven outings, so the Giants are definitely riding their 25-year-old ace extremely hard.
* As expected when he signed a minor-league contract last week, Jason Giambi will likely be among the Rockies’ call-ups when rosters expand tomorrow. Giambi is 7-for-16 (.438) with two homers and five walks in five games at Triple-A after hitting just .193 in 83 games with the A’s.
* Derek Jeter shot down last week’s New York Post story claiming that he’s engaged to actress Minka Kelly, because obviously you wouldn’t want a nasty, vicious rumor like that spreading. Undeterred, the Post is now reporting that Alex Rodriguez and girlfriend Kate Hudson recently bought “matching straw hats for $45 each” Seriously, that’s the lead item in a gossip column.
* Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune downplays a possible Twins trade for Rich Harden by noting that Minnesota hadn’t even requested his medical records as of last night. Normally that may not be such a big deal, but I imagine that Harden’s medical records come with their own team of handlers, like the Stanley Cup or an elephant.

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.