Slamming Matt Harvey for actually living his life is a fun new sport in New York. How dare you date, how dare you go to a basketball game, how dare you talk to the media. Those who love to play that sport will have a great chance to do so next week. As Newsday reports, Harvey is scheduled to throw off a mound in Port St. Lucie on Monday. But . . .
Monday also is the Rangers’ first home game in the Stanley Cup Final. Harvey, an avid Rangers fan who is sporting a playoff beard, has tried to make it to New York when his schedule allows to attend the games . . .
Per his agreement with the team, Harvey is allowed to be with the Mets when they’re in New York. They are off on that Monday but will be at their homes there in preparation for a homestand starting the next day. So, technically, Harvey is within his rights to be in New York on Monday. And the expectation would be that he’d toss his bullpen session, hop a flight and be in Madison Square Garden in time for the face-off.
Which is totally cool and normal and shouldn’t cause any trouble. But how much do you wanna bet someone, somewhere, will have a problem with this?
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.