Leo Mazzone said last month that he’d like to be the Yankees’ or Mets’ pitching coach, calling both openings “a great job.”
However, according to Chad Jennings of the New York Journal News general manager Brian Cashman “has no plans of meeting with Mazzone, who turned down the Yankees job before Ron Guidry was hired.”
Guidry was hired in 2006, which is when Mazzone left the Braves to become the Orioles’ pitching coach under friend and manager Sam Perlozzo.
At the time Mazzone was coming off an incredible run of success in Atlanta and some people were talking about him as a possible Hall of Famer, so it makes sense that the Yankees pursued him and also makes sense that Cashman still holds a grudge that they were turned down for another AL East team.
Mazzone’s legacy has taken a big hit since then, as he failed to turn the Orioles’ pitching staff around before being fired in 2007 with a year remaining on his contract and has received little interest from teams since then. Given the way pitching coaches are hired, fired, and recycled every season, the fact that Mazzone wants another gig and can’t find one seems odd and seemingly speaks to teams viewing what he did in Atlanta as overrated or his being extremely difficult to deal with.
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.