Two weeks ago Ozzie and Kenny were at each other’s throats and everyone was trying to figure out exactly when Mark Buehrle and A.J.Pierzynski would reach 10-5 status and be able to block the fire sale trades that seemed inevitable.
It’s amazing what a little winning can do to put the kibosh on all of that.
The White Sox won again last night, giving them their 11th win in 12 games. They’re now a game over .500 and a mere 4.5 games behind first place Minnesota. Instead of that fire sale, the White Sox are toying with the notion of adding people. Kenny Williams:
“This team has responded and showed some resiliency. Those efforts
should be commended and acknowledged in the form that, ‘Ok, they are
going to keep pushing, we have to see what the possibilities are out
there to help them out. There’s a lot to weigh in and over the next number of weeks, this team
will show me more of either consistent play or more of the inconsistent
play that has been prevalent. To me, you keep pushing and trying to add
to the puzzle until you are forced not to.”
Those comments have to be read in light of Ozzie Guillen’s motivational spiel from a few weeks ago, which basically went “we need to win, fellas, so Kenny Williams doesn’t have a reason to trade anyone.”
Too early to say if the Sox will stick in it for long, but so far, Ozzie’s ploy is working.
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.