According to Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse, Pablo Sandoval will be the Giants’ designated hitter for Game 3 against right-hander Colby Lewis tomorrow night.
Juan Uribe started at third base for the first two games of the World Series with left-handed starters on the mound for the Rangers. Sandoval has just 14 at-bats during the entire postseason.
There has been a lot of debate on this topic during the week — mostly due to a lack of quality options — but it looks like Bruce Bochy is going for upside on offense. He reportedly gave consideration to using Aubrey Huff at DH and playing Travis Ishikawa at first base.
Keep in mind, for all of Sandoval’s struggles this season, he still managed to hit .282 with 12 of his 13 homers and a 779 OPS from the left side of the plate. Of course, he also hit just .208 with a 565 OPS away from AT&T Park. Bochy is undoubtedly hoping the former shows up tomorrow night.
Just because Sandoval will be the DH in Game 3 doesn’t mean he’ll be there in Game 4 or Game 5, if necessary. If or when Cliff Lee pitches again, look for Bochy to add another right-handed bat to his lineup — likely Aaron Rowand — pushing Pat Burrell to the DH spot.
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.