Atlanta released veteran reliever Scott Proctor this morning and filled his roster spot by calling up 20-year-old phenom Arodys Vizcaino from Triple-A.
Viczaino was acquired from the Yankees in the December of 2009 deal for Javier Vazquez and cracked Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects list coming into the season despite spending most of last year at low Single-A.
He’s blitzed through the minors this season, going from high Single-A to Double-A to Triple-A. And now the hard-throwing right-hander is in the majors three months before his 21st birthday.
Vizcaino has been working out of the bullpen since arriving at Triple-A last month, allowing just one earned run in seven innings, so the Braves are looking at him as a late-inning relief option down the stretch. And the potential is certainly there to dominate alongside the two-headed Craig Kimbrel-Jonny Venters monster, as Vizcaino racked up 100 strikeouts in 97 total innings between the three levels and held opponents to a .234 batting average.
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.