UPDATE: According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Hawksworth suffered severe lacerations to his mouth and upper lip. Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that he was taken to the hospital for X-rays.
2:57 PM: According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Blake Hawksworth was forced to leave this afternoon’s game against the Cubs after being hit in the face by a comebacker off the bat of Sam Fuld in the fifth inning.
Hawksworth was struck in the mouth by the ball and immediately fell to the mound. There was quite a bit of blood, but the good news is that Hawksworth didn’t lose consciousness and was able to walk off the field under his own power.
It looks like he managed to avoid any serious injury, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he is shut down for the rest of the season. We’ll pass along an update when we get it.
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.