Link-O-Rama: A-Rod notches 2,500 career hit

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* Last night Alex Rodriguez delivered his 2,500th career hit, which is remarkable given that this is his age-33 season. The only players in baseball history with more hits than Rodriguez through the age of 33 are Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx. And he can pass Foxx and Ott with a strong September.
Since rejoining the lineup on May 8 following hip surgery Rodriguez ranks among the AL’s top five in homers, RBIs, walks, and on-base percentage. Oh, and overall this season the Yankees are 66-32 (.673) when Rodriguez starts and 19-16 (.542) when he doesn’t. Meanwhile, the media in New York can’t seem to decide whether to hype Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter as the person to steal the MVP from Joe Mauer.
* David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal studied every team’s play-by-play announcer to determine who talks the most and found that the chattiest guy (Dan McLaughlin of the Cardinals) said twice as many words per minute as the least-chattiest guy (Duane Kuiper of the Giants). Actually, Vin Scully said by far the most words per minute, but a) he’s the only play-by-play guy who works without a partner/analyst, and b) he’s Vin Scully.
* Jarrod Saltalmacchia returned from the disabled list yesterday, but still expects to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome once the season ends and may be limited to bench duties down the stretch.
* Grady Sizemore is also talking about surgery and may opt to have his injured elbow operated on before the season ends. “I see both sides,” Sizemore said. “Every player wants to be out there and finish the season. But I understand the logic behind the conversation. They want to put me in a position to where I’m strong for next year.”

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.