According to Alyson Footer, social media director for the Astros, right fielder Hunter Pence has been scratched from Saturday night’s lineup against the Dodgers due to a hyperextended elbow.
Pence reported feeling soreness in his arm after taking batting practice and was removed from the batting order an hour or so before first pitch. Jason Bourgeois took his place and will bat second against Dodgers right-hander Rubby De La Rosa.
The Astros are calling Pence “day-to-day” and will evaluate him again before Sunday’s series finale.
The 28-year-old is batting a healthy .321/.361/.497 with nine home runs and 51 RBI in 70 games this year. He’s been one of the few bright spots in what has been a hideous first half for Houston.
UPDATE: Pence will fly back to Houston on Sunday afternoon for an MRI, according to Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle. It’s a precautionary exam, but also an indication that the ‘Stros are worried.
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.