Carlos Delgado has started running again following a pair of hip surgeries and told a Puerto Rican newspaper that he plans to sign with an MLB team by the end of this month:
We’ve contacted a few teams to let them know that I’m working out and I expect to return. Pretty much planting the seed. Once I can reach five days in a row doing full workouts, the doctor will feel comfortable in letting me play. The important thing is to not take any steps backwards.
Delgado hasn’t played since May of 2009, but the 38-year-old first baseman said he’d have “no problems” proving himself in the minors before a potential call-up and is hoping to play next season as well, no doubt in the hopes of adding the 27 homers needed to reach 500 for his career.
At his age being sidelined for 15 months following major surgery makes Delgado a huge question mark, but he did hit .298/.393/.521 in 26 games for the Mets before going down last season and has never been a below-average hitter. He’d certainly be worth a flier for contenders in need of some lineup help at first base or DH.
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.