At this rate, the Yankees might run out of players. Two more players are headed to the infirmary as pitcher Ivan Nova and catcher Francisco Cervelli both exited tonight’s game against the Blue Jays with injuries.
Cervelli hurt his hand on a foul ball from Jays batter Rajai Davis in the first inning, per ESPN’s Andrew Marchand. He initially stayed in the game but was eventually replaced by Chris Stewart.
Update (8:25 PM): It’s a broken hand for Cervelli, per Jon Heyman.
Update (8:35 PM): Surgery will be required, knocking Cervelli out at least six weeks, tweets Marchand.
Nova left in the fifth inning after Davis hit a ground ball up the middle for a hit. The ball did not appear to hit Nova, but he was visited by the team trainer and left immediately without throwing any warm-up pitches, according to Yankees blog River Ave Blues. He was replaced by David Phelps.
Update (8:35 PM): Nova left with pain in his right elbow, and will have an MRI per Marchand.
The Yankees already have three players on the 60-day DL and three on the 15-day DL as well as Kevin Youkilis, who may wind up on the DL in the coming days. Despite the adversity, though, the Yankees have persevered, entering tonight’s game with a 12-9 record.
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.