UPDATE: Marlins win 4-1. Sanchez ends up with a complete-game one-hitter.
9:35 PM: So much for that. Dexter Fowler just broke up the no-no with a leadoff single in the ninth. It bounced just beyond Omar Infante’s glove into right field. Is Edwin Rodriguez going to pull him now?
9:26 PM: Sanchez has made it through eight innings with the no-hitter intact. He got Ty Wigginton to fly out to center, Chris Iannetta to strike out and pinch-hitter Jose Lopez on a soft liner to second base. He’s now at 115 pitches. Three more outs to go.
9:12 PM: You might want to turn on your television. Or your mobile device. We’re in the future, you know?
Anibal Sanchez hasn’t allowed a hit over the first seven innings of tonight’s game against the Rockies. However, the Rockies did score a run in the first inning on a fielding error by first baseman Gaby Sanchez. The Marlins currently lead 4-1.
Sanchez has struck out eight and walked three. He’s currently at 102 pitches through seven innings. Of course, Sanchez previously pitched a no-hitter in his 14th major league start back on September 6, 2006 against the Diamondbacks. He needed 103 pitches to complete that one.
Stay tuned to see if Sanchez can toss the first no-no of the 2011 season.
Note: MLB.com has a free preview of MLB.tv tonight, so you can track Sanchez’s progress there.
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.