The Yankees, not to be outdone by the Rangers, have filed their ALCS rotation. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has the goods on Twitter.
CC Sabathia will start Game 1 in Texas on Saturday night. The American League Cy Young Award candidate registered a 21-7 record, a 3.18 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over 34 starts during the regular season, fanning 197 batters over 237-plus innings and walking just 74. He surrendered three runs in six innings during his lone ALDS start against the Twins, but the big man remains one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.
Phil Hughes will start Game 2, also in Texas. He turned in seven scoreless innings in the Yanks’ series-clinching Game 3 victory over the Twins in the ALDS and has enjoyed great success in the Rangers’ home park throughout his short career.
Andy Pettitte, the veteran left-hander, will take on Texas in the first game back at Yankee Stadium. He was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 21 starts during the regular season and held the Twins to two earned runs over seven innings in his one ALDS start. He will face Rangers ace Cliff Lee.
A.J. Burnett will go in Game 4. His involvement in the semifinal series is unfortunate, but he is New York’s best option and might just have a dominant outing left in his bag of tricks. The 33-year-old righty hasn’t pitched in a major league game since October 2, when he allowed four runs in a six-inning start against the Red Sox. Maybe the freshness will help.
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.