Chris Dickerson underwent surgery to remove the broken hook on the hamate bone in his right hand and arthroscopic surgery to clean out his right wrist on Monday, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. He’s expected to miss four to six weeks.
It doesn’t figure to be a huge loss for the Reds anyway, since Dickerson was batting just .227/.244/.295 with a 19/1 K/BB ratio over his first 44 at-bats. Drew Stubbs hasn’t been anything worth writing home about either, but the former first-round pick will at least get a chance to start in center field on regular basis with Dickerson on the shelf for an extended period of time. Right on key, Stubbs led off Monday’s game against Oliver Perez and the Mets with a home run.
Outfielder Chris Heisey was recalled from Triple-A Louisville when Dickerson was placed on the disabled list last week, but he didn’t make his major league debut until tonight, as Dusty Baker gave Jay Bruce a night off. Heisey, 25, improved his stock dramatically last season by batting .314/.379/.521 with 22 homers and 77 RBI between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville. He was batting .241/.307/.430 with four homers and 13 RBI with Louisville to begin this season.
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.