After leaving Tuesday’s game prior to the eighth inning, Jason Heyward admitted that he’s been dealing with soreness in his right shoulder since the spring. He’s set to have an MRI.
Heyward, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts tonight, said the soreness has worsened in recent days and that he’s recently experienced numbness in his forearm.
Heyward is just 2-for-28 during May, and he’s yet to homer after hitting seven during the first month of the season. His average is down to .220.
If Heyward lands on the DL, the Braves will go to Eric Hinske as their primary right fielder. Such a switch would particularly hurt them defensively and deprive them of their top left-handed pinch-hitter. Hinske, who had an RBI double off the bench tonight, is batting .359 in 39 at-bats.
With Jordan Schafer and Wilkin Ramirez both struggling at Triple-A Gwinnett, the Braves may well call up veteran Jose Constanza take Heyward’s spot on the roster. Their lack of outfield depth is a real issue and something that might be addressed in a trade later on.
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.