After meeting with the Braves’ physical therapist Tommy Hanson has altered his delivery in an effort to avoid the shoulder problems that plagued him last season.
Hanson described the change as “not drastic, but definitely different” and the Braves are also hoping it makes him tougher for opponents to steal bases on after he allowed runners to go 30-for-33 last year.
Hanson told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that he previously felt like he was “throwing with all arm” and is “cutting out that pause” in his delivery. And so far at least Hanson hasn’t seen a dropoff in his velocity or movement with the new delivery, which is key considering how dominant he’s been when healthy with the old setup.
Through early July last year Hanson had a 2.44 ERA, .190 opponents’ batting average, and 109/35 K/BB ratio in 103 innings, but he then allowed 24 runs in his next 27 innings before being shut down in mid-August.
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.