It doesn’t sound like it was formal, and it seems like it was something far short of an offer, but Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Toronto Blue Jays contacted Bobby Cox about their managerial opening:
The 71-year-old is probably a longshot to be the Blue Jays’ next manager. But the notion starts to make sense the more one thinks about it — as, I am told, at least one person in the organizational hierarchy has done … After it became apparent that John Farrell would depart as the Blue Jays’ manager last month, a member of the team management — and we have two strong possibilities — reached out to Cox in an effort to gauge his interest in the job, a major league source told FOXSports.com.
Cox said no, but Morosi wonders if, now that the Jays have brought in Jose Reyes and the gang, he might reconsider.
I suppose that’s between Bobby Cox and his god, but from what I observed in the late stages of his time in Atlanta and how he’s behaved publicly since his retirement, he’s quite content being retired.
Still, fun thought. Maybe it’d be a better bet to ask Cito Gaston if he wants a third hurrah at the helm.
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.