Dan Hayes of the North County Times writes that the Padres can be added to the list of teams that umpire Joe West has pissed off:
Twenty four hours later, the Padres were still incensed on Wednesday afternoon about umpire Joe West’s blown call in Tuesday’s loss at Arizona. Reliever Mike Adams said many of his teammates reviewed video after Tuesday’s 6-1 loss ended to see if West was correct in ruling that Padres utility man Eric Patterson left third base early when he tagged up on a fly ball in the second inning.
The call wiped out an early lead for the Padres and video showed West wasn’t looking in Patterson’s direction and was instead focusing on the outfield. Padres general manager Jed Hoyer told XX Sports Radio on Wednesday he is considering sending video of the incident to the league office. Padres players are hopeful he does.
Mike Adams may earn himself a fine for this, but he spoke the truth by saying: “You really don’t expect anything less out of that crew. There’s a reason [West and Angel Hernandez] were voted two of the top three worst in the big leagues. It seems like they’ve always got to be part of the game.”
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.