Ain’t this a daisy: Joe Torre just announced that Game 1 has been suspended. You can’t predict baseball. But you can predict weather. Makes you wonder why they didn’t do that here.
Because of the new postseason rules that were put into place after the soggy 2008 postseason, all playoff games are played to their completion, not started from scratch, even if it hadn’t reached the fifth inning. That means — per Torre — that Game 1 of the Tigers-Yankees will be resumed at the time Game 2 was to be played tomorrow, 8:37PM. It will be picked up where this one left off, with the teams tied at 1 in the middle of the second inning. Game 2 will now be played on Sunday at 3:07 PM, which would have been an offday, Game 3 goes as planned on Monday from Detroit.
The result: a giant mess, with the two aces, CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander being unavailable until at least Game 3, it would seem. It certainly throws a wrench into both managers’ plans. The presumption: Doug Fister and Ivan Nova will likely pick it up beginning in the bottom of the second, tomorrow. Or does Justin Verlander try to talk his way into pitching again? We’ll let you know as soon as we hear. UPDATE: The Tigers have announced that they’re going with Doug Fister tomorrow, Max Scherzer on Sunday and Justin Verlander coming back on Monday. This is HUGE because it means that Justin Verlander will now only pitch one game in this series (not counting his one inning tonight).
Oh well. This could have been avoided, it seems, if the people in charge had simply looked at the radar, which was apparently grim from the get-go. But I suppose they had more important stuff to do.
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.