Because I often drop references to Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, comics and other similar fare, I get accused of being a nerd from time to time. It’s OK. I own it. Not gonna run away from that because I am who I am and I’m OK with that.
But if you ever thought to call me the biggest nerd writing about baseball, I would humbly ask that you go read Larry Granillo’s latest Wezen-Ball installment over at Baseball Prospectus, in which he breaks down — really breaks down — the baseball aspects of the 1998 “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode which featured a baseball game called “Take Me Out to the Holosuite.” If you haven’t seen it, the Deep Space Nine crew — the “Niners” — takes on a team of Vulcans called the “Logicians.” Here’s lar:
First Base – Worf
At first-glance, another fairly easy choice. As Sisko reminds his team early on, there are only two players on the squad who the Vulcans are not stronger than: Worf, the Klingon warrior, is one. Assuming he has the power of a corner-infielder, it makes sense for the biggest, strongest player on the team to play first. However, it is also well-established that Worf is a tremendous athlete and can run rather well. He is not Adam Dunn. Considering his overall athleticism and strong arm, a rightfield assignment would make more sense …
And yes, it goes on and on like that. It’s pretty glorious, actually.
But really, thank God Larry is already married, because I fear having this article tied to him for the rest of eternity wouldn’t do him any favors with the ladies.
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.