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Hicks struggled over four seasons with the Twins and Yankees, but he's one of the best hitters in the majors so far in 2017.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Aaron Hicks leaned forward at his locker and asked teammate Didi Gregorius about his tweeting. He wanted to know about the 140-characters-or-less game summaries Gregorius has been posting on Twitter after Yankees victories. Instead of using Hicks’ name, Gregorius has been using a certain emoji.

“Hey, Didi,” Hicks said. “Who am I supposed to be?”

Gregorius, sitting nearby at a card table, laughed and put a look of pretend surprise on his face.

“Who are you supposed to be?” Gregorius asked, still pretending. “I mean, you’re Aaron Hicks!”

Hicks wasn’t letting him off the hook: “What’s my emoji?”

Gregorius caved: “The old man!”

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Are some switch-hitters costing themselves by not sticking to one side of the plate?

Every so often, someone asks me whether there are any switch-hitters who are making a mistake by batting from both sides, or whether a particular hitter would be better off picking and sticking to one side of the plate. There are two reasons, I think, why the question comes up even though there have been BP pieces about it before, and despite the fact very few players have ever stopped switch-hitting after making the majors.

The first is that switch-hitting is inherently interesting to those of us who can barely button a button with our non-dominant hand. Hitting baseballs thrown by big-league pitchers, we’re told, is one of the toughest tasks in sports. Switch-hitters can do it not only from the side of the plate where we look at least a little coordinated, but also from the side where we look like Hunter Pence. There are mutants in the X-Mansion with less impressive powers (like Longneck).

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Does switch-hitting make sense from an evolutionary perspective?

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Alex Speier covers the Red Sox for WEEI.com. His playing career reached its zenith when he started a game-winning rally by getting beaned. He rarely sleeps, has many questions, and ventures few answers, while demonstrating proclivities towards sesquipedalianism, circumlocution, and the unintentional misuse of foreign languages. Though he is terrified of 140-character communiques, you can follow him on Twitter @alexspeier

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