Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians

White Sox get the message on Robin Ventura’s “big-boy pants” comment

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BALTIMORE — Robin Ventura doesn’t speak out a lot so Adam Eaton knows when he does he should listen.

So when the White Sox manager said his team, losers of five straight, need to put on their “big-boy pants” after Monday’s loss, Eaton understands. The White Sox aren’t playing a particularly bad brand of baseball — far from 2013 levels, in fact. But they need more after losing every game on this road trip by a combined total of seven runs, Eaton said.

“He says stuff for a purpose,” Eaton said. “He doesn’t say anything, he doesn’t say anything and then when he does say something people listen. I think it’s definitely for a purpose and to get us fired up and I think we’re going to take that, play with a purpose (Tuesday) and hopefully continue to do so.”

Following Monday’s 6-4 loss on a walk-off, three-run homer, Ventura was displeased with his club. He doesn’t like how they have found several ways to lose some very winnable games on their road trip.

“Baseball’s tough,” Ventura said. “You’ve got to put your big-boy pants on and go out there and win a game. That’s a fact.”

[MORE: Sox make a switch in rotation, stand by Belisario]

Second baseman Gordon Beckham knows where Ventura’s coming from. If it were a blowout, the White Sox would be more prone to letting go of their losses easier knowing they had been beat, Beckham said.

But that’s not the case at all and that’s why Beckham figures Ventura sent the missive in Monday’s postgame comments.

“I feel like we really haven’t gotten beat,” Beckham said. “Obviously we’re losing games but we’re kind of beating ourselves in terms of not finding a way to win.

“We just need to find a way to get a win here and break up this skid we’re on. We’ve played hard, we just haven’t found a way to win. I think his point is we just need to get over the hump here. We’re in these games and if we’re in these games we need to find a way to win one or two of them. It’s never fun to go through it, but this season is too long, this game is too tough to ride the low or ride the high too much. You’ve just got to go out there and play and grind it out.”

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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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.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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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.