As I mentioned in this morning’s recaps, I’m going to be taking a little time off. All next week to be precise. I’ll be back on Monday, August 30th. Yes, I’m going out of town, but it’s to a secret undisclosed location that may or may not look like the pic to the right.
I don’t relish the idea
of a vacation. I love my job, I live for baseball and blogging and being away from the
computer for a week is going test the limits of my patience and maybe
even my sanity.
But that’s also probably evidence that I really do need a vacation. With
the exception of an odd Friday here or there it’s been a while since I took any real time off and I probably could use the time to sharpen the saw or whatever those doorknobs who put together those motivational posters say. Probably also worth noting that my wife told me that if I don’t disconnect from the web for a few days she’ll kill me, so there’s that too.
So, for me anyway, it’s
lights out for a bit. Aaron, D.J., Drew, Matthew and Bob will provide
you with more than enough baseball juju between now and when I come back. Here’s hoping Roger Clemens doesn’t take a hostage or something, because that’s the kind of story I really don’t want to miss.
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.