Scott Rolen is absent from Friday’s lineup and iffy for the weekend after receiving two cortisone injections for soreness in his left shoulder, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
“I kind of tracked it back to San Diego,” he said, referring to an April 11-13 series. “I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I haven’t been excelling. I’m not pointing fingers but I’ve been struggling a bit with my shoulder seven to 10 days.”
Rolen is in a 4-for-29 slump that’s left him at .217/.246/.417 in 60 at-bats for the season. He drove in 10 runs in his first nine games but just two in seven games since.
Rolen had shoulder surgery in 2005 and has frequently dealt with soreness in the area since, though cortisone usually takes care of it. This time, the pain is spread out between his shoulder, neck and back. An MRI on his neck came back negative.
With Rolen absent, the Reds have Miguel Cairo starting at third base and batting seventh against the Cardinals tonight.
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.