Someone in Kansas City understands the concept of sunk costs and the desirability of roster flexibility: Jose Guillen has been designated for assignment.
Guillen had a fast start this year, and I understand why the Royals continued to play him even after he cooled down. Their thinking: someone, somewhere [cough!] Brian Sabean [cough!] might have gotten desperate and tried to trade for him. But that never happened, he’s currently 0 for his last 21 and no one with their right mind is going to give the Royals anything of value for him in a waiver deal. Expect this DFA to turn into a release within ten days.
The real beneficiary of this move — besides Royals fans who have to be tired of watching him and being reminded how much he costs — is Kila Ka’aihue. Finally called up to the Royals, he can now expect regular playing time at 1B with Billy Butler playing DH (or vice-versa) and the Royals can finally see what they have in him.
There’s a ton of talent on the Royals farm. In the past week they have unloaded Rick Ankiel, Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Guillen. There is hope in Kansas City, my friends. There is hope.
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.