Having been eliminated from postseason contention with Monday’s loss, the Angels decided there was no need to push two of their top three starters any further. They scratched Ervin Santana from his start Tuesday against Texas and Jered Weaver from Wednesday’s finale.
Tyler Chatwood and Garrett Richards are now scheduled to work the next two days.
It’s good news for the Rangers, who are one game up on the Tigers as they aim for home-field advantage in the ALDS.
Santana and Weaver had both already amassed career-high innings totals this year. Santana was at 228 2/3, while Weaver was at 235 2/3 innings.
Santana finishes 11-12 with a 3.38 ERA. While he’s had seasons of 17, 16 and 16 wins in the past, this year’s ERA was the lowest of his career. 2008 still ranks as his best season as a major leaguer, but his 2011 wasn’t too far behind.
Weaver, a Cy Young contender for the first four motnhs of the season, ends the year 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. The wins, ERA and WHIP are all career bests for him, though he didn’t come close to matching his strikeout total from a year ago (198, down from 233).
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
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.