Lance Berkman, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out loose cartilage in his left knee on
March 13, was already iffy for the start of the season. Now he’s almost surely headed for the disabled list.
According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Berkman’s knee “swelled up a good bit” after he took some ground balls and tried to run on Tuesday.
“I was hopeful that by increasing activities that it wouldn’t irritate
it, and apparently it’s going to,” he said. “I need to drop down to
where I just swing a little bit. Today I took ground balls and moved
around a good bit, and it didn’t respond like I wanted it to.”
The Astros can backdate Berkman, so if he is forced to begin the season on the DL, he would have to miss at
least the first four games of the season before being eligible
to return to the Astros’ lineup. If Tuesday’s setback was any indication, even that timeline might be a tad optimistic.
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.