Sean McAdam, while noting that no conversations have occurred to this effect, observes that Mike Lowell might be a good fit with the Angels.
Makes sense: LAAofA just lost Kendry Morales for the year, they have a swirling vortex of suck at third base right now in the form of Brandon Wood and their DH — Hideki Matsui — has been less than effective. Lowell fits in all three of those slots.
McAdam quotes insiders who observe that the Angels tend to try to fill holes internally if at all possible. That’s great, but at some point you have too many holes. Brandon Wood stinks? Fine, that was always possible. Matsui? No worries, give Mike Napoli a day off behind the dish and hope that limited play causes Godzilla to spring back to life. But those two and no first baseman? Maybe too much to overcome.
It’s hard to see Anaheim wanting to give up too much for Lowell, but it’s not at all clear that they’d have to either. One gets the sense that the Boston brass is sensitive to the fact that Lowell is simply dangling right now. Yeah, it’s a business and all but you have to figure they want to do right by the guy and give him a chance to play.
The biggest barrier to this? Probably the fact that there’s a decent chance that both the Sox and the Angels have wild card aspirations, so why would one team want to help the other before it’s clear whether there’s going to be a race or not.
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.
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.