Brandon Webb finally provided some reason for optimism last week by tossing three shutout innings in a rehab start at Double-A, but that all vanished in his follow-up start Sunday when he failed to make it out of the first inning while allowing four runs.
Afterward the rehabbing former Cy Young winner told Louie Horvath of MLB.com that he “felt pretty good” and “didn’t think there was a hard-hit ball” among the six hits he allowed while recording two outs, saying: “There were four of them that were ground balls in the hole, one little blooper.”
Even at his best Webb never succeeded because of his velocity, so inducing lots of ground balls is a good sign for one of the most ground-ball heavy pitchers in baseball, but ultimately he has an 11.57 ERA in three starts at Double-A and hasn’t faced big-league hitters since Opening Day of 2009. Texas is running out of time to get anything from their $3 million investment.
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.