Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma appeared to throw down a gauntlet of sorts to incoming teammate Milton Bradley when interviewed by the Sporting News over the weekend. His quotes, and the accompanying headline on the story essentially said this: “Milton, everyone knows you can play, but you better be cool in Seattle and not mess up our chemistry.”
Only one problem: Aardsma didn’t say that. In fact, as Doug Miller of MLB.com reports, Aardsma’s quotes were so messed up and taken out of context that the Sporting News ended up calling to apologize to the pitcher.
Aardsma says he has long admired what Bradley can do with the bat and that he should fit in well with what the Mariners are trying to accomplish in 2010.
“I am excited for him,” Aardsma said. “He’s going to be a huge part of this team and probably going to be a huge part of our success. He will be right in the middle of our lineup, and he’s going to help my career, too. He’ll help the team score a bunch more runs, and that makes my job easier in the bullpen.
“I’ll do anything I can to help him. I’m pumped up to have him.”
So now we know what David Aardsma thinks of Milton Bradley. The truth sure can be boring can’t it? Sigh.
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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.
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.