Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com was told by an “industry source” that neither Rockies’ pitching coach Bob Apodaca or former major-league pitching coach Rick Peterson are candidates to join Bobby Valentine’s staff in Boston.
Apodaca served as the Mets’ pitching coach with Valentine from 1996-1999. He has worked with the Rockies in the same capacity since 2003. Peterson has had previous gigs in the big leagues with the Athletics, Mets and Brewers. He didn’t work with a professional team this season, but recently interviewed for a minor league pitching coordinator position with the Orioles.
The Red Sox are likely focused on player acquisitions this week, so it’s difficult to get a read where they stand in regard to potential candidates. Jack Curry of YES Network reported last Thursday that Valentine put out a call to David Cone, but he is not expected to take the job. Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com wrote over the weekend that Bobby V could consider former Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser, who worked in the broadcast booth with him this season at ESPN, though the former Cy Young Award winner is reportedly putting together a group to bid for the Dodgers.
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.