There was a pretty scary scene during last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, as Mike Lowell took a ground ball off the side of the head while playing first base in the fifth inning.
Lowell was attempting to field a ball off the bat of Curtis Granderson, however the ball took a nasty hop only to nail him in the temple. You can watch the play here. Lowell spent a couple minutes on the ground while being examined by team trainer Mike Reinold. He was allowed to finish the inning, however Lars Anderson replaced him at first base to begin the bottom of the sixth inning as a precautionary measure.
After the game, Lowell told John Tomase of the Boston Herald that he was feeling fine.
“I would have stayed in the game, but it was 10-1 at the time,” he said.
“My eye started twitching a little, and I didn’t really want to hit
like that. I had enough excitement for a day. But I feel fine. I feel
Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com reports that Lowell does not have a concussion, however Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that he was still very sore and “very fortunate.” Lowell will have to go through another battery of tests before being allowed back on the field. Just one week away from retirement, let’s hope he still gets the chance to go out on a high note.
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.