According to TMZ, former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer has struck a deal with Major League Baseball in which he will turn over all information he has and Major League Baseball will pay Fischer a “consultant” fee. Major League Baseball is apparently in the process of interviewing him.
Fischer, you may recall, recently described Major League Baseball as “the biggest scumbags on Earth” in an interview with the Miami New Times. There he complained that baseball has using high-handed and hardball tactics in an effort to get Biogenesis information and claimed he was more or less screwed over by the league and by Anthony Bosch and that the whole mess has led to threats to his property and safety. Now things are different, apparently and he, Bosch and MLB are all on the same side.
As I noted in my followup to the Fisher business, this guy comes off as something less than a straightforward, reliable narrator. Maybe he has the goods on some players. Maybe he doesn’t. But based on what he’s said in that interview just two weeks ago, he’s either going to have to (a) testify that his fellow witness-against-the-players Anthony Bosch is an evil duplicitous person who can’t be trusted; or (b) admit that he himself lied in that interview and now, once he’s being paid by MLB, he’s being truthful.
So good luck with that.
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.