The Phillies have shut down rookie starter Jonathan Pettibone for another three to six weeks, reports CSN Philly’s John Finger. The right-hander hasn’t started since the end of July due to a strained right shoulder. A recent MRI revealed inflammation in his right rotator cuff, but thankfully there is no structural damage. He will receive a second opinion from orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Amaro on Pettibone’s setback:
“We’re going to be cautious with Jonathan. We don’t want to mess around with him too much,” Amaro said. “He has inflammation of his rotator cuff and some of the normal changes on his labrum that normally happen at this stage of his career, so we’re going to shut him down.”
Pettibone was a bright spot in an otherwise grim season for the Phillies. He initially joined the rotation when John Lannan succumbed to an injury in April, but stuck around out of necessity. He posted a 4.04 ERA in 100.1 innings spread out over 18 starts.
In other injured Phillies starter news, Roy Halladay will make a third rehab start with Double-A Reading on Sunday. He has looked less-than-stellar in his previous two starts, but the Phillies are hoping he can shake that off this weekend and return to the rotation in time to make another four or five starts to give them an idea what he has left in the tank.
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.