Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada has committed an MLB-high six errors, including four throwing errors, in 13 games. To put that in some context, eight teams have committed six or fewer total errors this season and if you take Tejada out of the mix the rest of the Mets have committed only four errors.
However, with no true backup shortstop on the roster and no great options at Triple-A the Mets have little choice but to stay patient with Tejada. Here’s what manager Terry Collins told Mike Puma of the New York Post about the situation:
I’ve seen this guy play too much, and I’ve never seen this–never. So had I seen this in the past at some time I may be concerned about it, but I’m just saying the conditions have been unfavorable for what’s going on here.
Collins is right that the weather has often not been favorable–although that hasn’t led to tons of errors by other Mets–and also right that Tejada hasn’t been error-prone in the past. In fact, last season he committed just 12 errors in 110 games at shortstop. Right now he’s on pace for 75.
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.