We already knew this was coming at some point, but the Mets made it official this afternoon. David Wright was named the fourth captain in the team’s history, joining John Franco, Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko are the only other active designated “captains” in the major leagues. Wright didn’t really need the title at this point since he’s clearly the face of the franchise, so it’s mostly a formality, but the honor clearly means a lot to him.
Via Andy Martino of the New York Daily News:
“This is probably one of the proudest days of my career so far,” Wright said. “To be viewed in this light, both by ownership, by Sandy and the front office, by the coaching staff, and probably most importantly by the players — It means a great deal to me, and is something that I am very appreciative of.”
And don’t worry, Wright will not be wearing a “C” on his uniform. While those C’s can look a little goofy, I’m guessing the Wilpons may have had mixed emotions about the situation, as it could have resulted in a huge spike in merchandise sales. But I’m sure they’ll find a way to make money off it somehow.
Wright, a supplemental first-round pick of the Mets in 2001, owns a .301/.381/.506 lifetime batting line and already holds the franchise record with 1,426 hits. The 30-year-old third signed an eight year, $138 million extension with the club in December which sets him up to spend his entire career with the Mets.
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
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.