Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes committed throwing errors in back-to-back games Sunday and Monday, giving him eight throwing errors on the season compared to a career-high of nine.
When asked by Shi Davidi of Toronto Sportsnet about the throwing problems Reyes admitted that he’s been playing through a right shoulder injury for the past month:
It’s been long enough. One day I feel good, the next day I feel sore, that’s the way it is. Baseball, you’re never going to be perfect, you’re always going to have some soreness in your body. You need to find a way to control that. I feel like I’m not able to finish my throws when I’m throwing to first base. That’s why the ball is running away from first base a little bit.
Reyes also told Davidi that his shoulder bothers him at the plate, but only occasionally. During the past two weeks he’s hit .344 with an .885 OPS in 14 games, including going 4-for-5 with a home run last night, so clearly the shoulder is more of an issue on defense.
Reyes insists that the injury isn’t bad enough to keep him from being in the Blue Jays’ lineup and seemed hopeful that the time off during the All-Star break will help him get over the soreness.
Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
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.