Quick hits: Bay, Atkins, Pirates, Wood, Shinjo

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With Game 4 of the World Series just a few hours from first pitch, here’s a few items of interest from around baseball:

– John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks the “desperate-for-pop Giants” would consider outbidding the Red Sox for Jason Bay. Jon Heyman of SI.com reported last week that the Red Sox were willing to give Bay $60 million over four years.
If Bay doesn’t work out for San Francisco, Shea names Garrett Atkins as
a possibility. Atkins, who lost his starting job to Ian Stewart, batted
just .226/.308/.342 with nine home runs and 48 RBI this season. Buster
Olney of ESPN.com recently named him as a
prime candidate to be non-tendered in December.



– A source told John Perrotto of
Baseball Prospectus that there’s no chance the Pirates will call up
top-prospects Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln
before at least next June.
Such a decision would likely keep Alvarez or Lincoln from reaching
“Super 2” status, meaning they wouldn’t be arbitration-eligible until
after the 2013 season.




– Matt Welch of Halos Heaven says you should think about Brandon Wood when you watch the Phillies.



– And finally, former Mets
and Giants outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo is back on a baseball field, but he may have
taken the idea of “’70s night”
a little too far.

Josh Hamilton has knee surgery, out 2-3 months

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.

As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:

That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.

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.