Here’s an interesting take on the potential for mega discipline against scores of players arising out of Biogenesis.
Richard McLaren is an attorney who has presided as an arbitrator over multiple arbitration cases exactly like the one which may involve Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and others in the event they get disciplined: appeals of non-analytical cases. Meaning drug suspensions based on testimony or other evidence as opposed to a positive drug test.
He appeared on on the MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette today, and talked a lot about the potential Biogenesis appeals and how difficult they may be for Major League Baseball given that their star witness is Anthony Bosch. The key takeaway: “Credibility is everything. If he turns out to not be a credible witness, there’s not much of a case.”
Not that it’d be impossible. McLaren notes what anyone who has dealt with criminal doings or drug-related unseemliness knows: there are a lot of scumbags hanging around. And he talks about ways Major League Baseball can deal with his prima facie credibility problems. But it’s impossible to deny that if Major League Baseball does proceed with Bosch out front of its case against the players, making any discipline stick is going to be a pretty risky proposition.
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.