WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- In an effort to help him stay on the field longer, Astros infielder Reid Brignac has started taking up switch-hitting. Brignac, who's hit left-handed his entire career, has been batting right-handed against left-handed pitchers early in spring.
Brignac, a non-roster invitee to camp who spent last year in the Braves' system, has appeared in 369 big league games with the Rays, Rockies, Yankees, Phillies, Marlins and Braves, where he spent last year mostly at Triple-A Gwinnett.
"I'm going to try it out this year," Brignac said. "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."
Brignac, a career .219 hitter in 369 Major League games, started hitting from the right side of the plate on Nov. 1, when he was still a free agent. Before signing with the Astros, he made sure the organization was OK with him continuing the experiment into the spring.
"I still have a lot of work to do, but I'm working at it," he said. "I want to try to get as comfortable as I can and see if it's worth trying to do [into the season]."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.