Last month Tyson Gillies pleaded not guilty to cocaine possession charges stemming from a June arrest in Florida and now the Kamloops Daily News reports that the state attorney’s office has dropped all charges against the 21-year-old outfield prospect acquired by the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade.
Here’s what Gillies said about the charges being dropped:
I’m glad that this ordeal is over, but I’m still very upset that it happened to me and that my character, which I’ve worked so hard to build, can even be questioned. I was drug tested five hours after the incident happened and it had obviously come back negative. I know who I am and what I’m about as a person and was stunned by the things I had to go through. If there’s one big thing that I take from this, it’s to be more aware of the situations I put myself in in the future.
According to police reports officers spotted Gillies walking on the side of a highway at 3:00 a.m., trying to flag down cars. They gave him a ride back to the team hotel, at which point an officer allegedly found a bag of cocaine in the back seat. Gillies’ lawyer told the Daily News that a drug test administered hours later showed no sign of cocaine in his system.
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.