Bill Madden of the Daily News reports that the Blue Jays, off to an awful start, held a players-only, closed-door meeting yesterday
DeRosa would later call a players-only meeting to reiterate a lot of what beleaguered Blue Jay manager John Gibbons said to the media the day before … “There’s just a bad vibe creeping in here and we need to address it,” DeRosa said. “It’s just weird after spring training when we had a swagger about us.”
Maybe coming in to the season with “swagger” before you accomplished anything has something to do with the problems. Who knows!
In other news, Andy Martino catches up with R.A. Dickey who has a lot to say about the weird fascination the Mets and some of their fans still seem to have with him. He’s out the door and long gone, but for some reason he’s still a divisive figure in Queens. This is what happens to baseball players when they have the gall to have opinions about things I suppose.
One opinion Dickey shared with Martino is questionable, however:
“It has obviously been incredibly disappointing for everybody,” Dickey said. “The beauty of baseball is that it’s just one month and we’ve got five left. So there’s still time.
Go ask Jay Jaffe about that. He looks at teams who have started as poorly as the Jays have in the wild card era. And the results are something less than encouraging.
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.