Alex Rodriguez was held out of the starting lineup tonight for the second straight day with continued soreness in his oblique/lower back, but told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that he expects to return for Wednesday’s finale against the Blue Jays.
“We decided to take one more day and play tomorrow,” Rodriguez said. “I think if it was different circumstances, in September in the middle of a pennant race, perhaps we could strap it on today. But I think we’re trying to be smart about it. We’re in the middle of April. Gun to the head, there’s no question I could probably strap it on today, but I think everyone’s opinion was to take one more day.”
Eric Chavez started at third base again tonight, while Robinson Cano was bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup. We’ll see how Rodriguez feels tomorrow, but the Yankees could take advantage of a scheduled off-day on Thursday and rest him until Friday’s series opener against the Orioles.
Rodriguez is batting .385/.500/.821 with four homers, five doubles and nine RBI over his first 50 plate appearances this season.
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.