The Mariners actually beat the Athletics 7-3 last night, but all everyone can talk about this morning is Yoenis Cespedes, who nearly hit one to San Jose.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Cespedes turned on an 83 mph changeup from Mariners’ starter Jason Vargas for a massive blast to left-center which traveled 462 feet. You can watch it here. It’s the longest home run in the majors so far this year and the excellent Hit Tracker Online says only 21 traveled further last season.
Cespedes showcased his 80-grade pimp tool while admiring his handy work and probably would have watched it for longer if he didn’t finally realize that Vargas was staring a hole through him. The picture to your right illustrates that the southpaw probably wasn’t too thrilled. Anyway, it’s clear that Cespedes can do some serious damage against cookies and mistake pitches, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts when pitchers get the book on him. Fun to watch for now, though.
Your Friday box scores:
White Sox 2, Rangers 3
Cardinals 11, Brewers 5
Twins 2, Orioles 4
Rockies 5, Astros 3
Yankees 6, Rays 7
Giants 4, Diamondbacks 5
Royals 0, Angels 5
Dodgers 6, Padres 0
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.