UPDATE: Niemann and Davis placed on DL with shoulder strains

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UPDATE: After Monday’s game, Wade Davis joined Niemann on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, according to the Tampa Tribune. Jeremy Hellickson was recalled and will start Tuesday’s game.
6:50 PM Niemann was officially placed on the DL prior to Monday’s game, with reliever Mike Eckstrom being called up to take his spot.
6:30 PM: Rays starters Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis were both diagnosed with strains after having their shoulders examined, manager Joe Maddon said after arriving at the ballpark Monday.
Maddon said the team was encouraged by the MRI results of both, and that while DL stints are a possbility, it’s doubtful either would be sidelined for a lengthy period.
Fortunately, the Rays’ impressive starting pitching depth, while unneeded in the first half, should be able to help keep the team in the race. The Rays had Andy Sonnanstine fill in for Niemann on Sunday, and Jeremy Hellickson is expected to be recalled to pitch in place of Davis on Tuesday.
Hellickson, one of the game’s best pitching prospects, beat the Twins in his major league debut by allowing two runs over seven innings last Monday.
The Rays enter Monday night’s game two games back of the Yankees in the AL East. They’re four games up on the Red Sox for the wild card.

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)
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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.