Jake Peavy hasn’t resumed throwing yet following July shoulder surgery, but told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he plans to play some “easy catch” for the first time next month with an eye toward throwing at full strength at some point in December.
His goal is to “not be behind at all when camp starts” next spring, but that’s far from a sure thing:
My goal is to be there and be there from the get-go and pull my weight, and we’ll work as hard as we can to make that a reality. Once the time is right, I believe I will be there. If I do have to miss a start or two at the beginning and can’t start the season with the boys, I can’t believe I would be much behind.
Peavy is owed $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012, with a $22 million option or $4 million buyout for 2013. He posted a 4.16 ERA in 20 starts for the White Sox prior to being shut down with shoulder problems, and the move from the NL and pitcher-friendly Petco Park to the AL and hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field made him a relative question mark even before the injury.
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.