Tied with Josh Hamilton for the major league lead at 99 before tonight’s action, Miguel Cabrera struck first Tuesday, knocking in two runs in the Tigers’ 8-4 defeat of the Twins.
Hamilton was held without an RBI as the Rangers were shutout by the Yankees.
Still just 29 years old, Cabrera now has nine 100-RBI seasons to his credit, having reached the plateau in each of his full major league seasons. Only 16 players have more 100-RBI seasons:
14 – Alex Rodriguez
13 – Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth
12 – Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Al Simmons
11 – Hank Aaron, Goose Goslin
10 – Joe Carter, Vladimir Guerrero, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols
When all is said and done, one imagines that either Pujols or Cabrera is going to top the all-time list. Maybe Rodriguez could add a couple of more, but that would require more durability than he’s displayed of late. Pujols, who fell one RBI short of the century mark last year, figures to notch his 11th 100-RBI season this year. He’s just 19 RBI away at the moment.
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.