By trading prospect Brett Wallace just months after getting him from the Cardinals for Matt Holliday the A’s showed that they don’t think he’ll be able to stick at third base defensively and apparently his new team agrees.
Wallace was taken in the first round of the 2008 draft as a third baseman and has played the position in 165 of his 192 games in the minors, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos made it clear in an MLB.com chat with fans over the weekend that he’ll be shifted to first base full time in 2010:
We think Wallace is capable of playing third. But, we see him being an above average defensive first baseman. Our hope is to have as strong as a defensive club as we can and putting players in a position where they have a chance to impact the club in the best way defensively.
In other words, maybe Wallace could be passable at third base, but the Blue Jays aren’t interested in that as a best-case scenario and mostly just want his bat in the lineup without his glove hurting them. Wallace will likely begin the year at Triple-A after Toronto got him in a straight-up swap with Oakland for fellow prospect Michael Taylor, but that could change if the Blue Jays clear first base for him by trading Lyle Overbay.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.