The Giants haven’t officially announced their roster for the NLCS against the Phillies — Bruce Bochy plans to speak with his players later tonight — but some early pieces are starting to fall into place.
According to Andrew Baggarly of San Jose Mercury News, Bochy just announced that Aaron Rowand will be on the roster. Rowand was also on the roster during the NLDS against the Braves and went 1-for-2 with a strikeout.
Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes that it “looks like” Barry Zito will be left off the Giants’ roster for a second straight round. Madison Bumgarner is currently installed as the team’s fourth starter, so the high-priced left-hander would have only pitched out of the bullpen. It’s not a given, though. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Zito or Dan Runzler, another left-hander, could still replace Guillermo Mota on the roster against the lefty-heavy Phillies. Stay tuned.
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.