Rangers activate Harden for Saturday evening start

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As noted by this MLB.com press release, the Rangers activated starter Rich Harden from the disabled list on Saturday afternoon.  In fact, he is on the bump for a Saturday evening matchup with the Angels and their new right-hander, Dan Haren.

Harden hit the 15-day disabled list in early June with a strained glute and an ugly 5.68 ERA and 1.68 WHIP over his first 13 starts.  The Rangers will hope that the extended time off and a subsequent minor league rehab assignment have helped him right the ship.  He struck out 10 batters over six scoreless innings on Monday in his final rehab outing with Triple-A Oklahoma City and threw 67 of his 96 pitches for strikes.  If he pitches like that now that he’s back in the majors, Harden will be just fine.

The Rangers are eight games ahead of the Angels in the American League West and appear to be headed for the playoffs for the first time since 1999.  If Harden wants to be included in the club’s October rotation, he will need to string together some quality outings down the stretch.  He’s plenty capable of that, but he’s yet to actually do it this season for Texas.

Braves sign former football player Sanders Commings

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15:  Cornerback Sanders Commings #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines during the pre-season NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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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.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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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.