Ryan Vogelsong and Freddy Sanchez are both making progress from their respective injuries, but neither are expected to be on the Giants’ active roster come Opening Day.
Vogelsong was slowed in the early days of camp due to back spasms and just made his first appearance of the spring yesterday during a minor league game. He threw only 24 pitches and likely won’t be stretched out in time for Opening Day, so Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that they are considering skipping his first turn in the rotation and starting him when the team first needs a fifth starter on April 15.
“We’re being cautious and he knows that, Bochy said of Vogelsong, who strained his lower back in the weight room in early February. “We’ll take this slow. We’re not going to push him to get him ready for his first start.”
As for Sanchez, he is currently working his way back from season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder last August. The 34-year-old is expected to make his first start at second base this weekend in a minor league game, but the Giants have given him the option not to throw on ground balls in the hole if he doesn’t feel comfortable.
That doesn’t sound like someone who is anywhere close to ready and Bochy admits there’s a “strong possibility” that Sanchez will begin the year on the disabled list. Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot will likely fill in at second base until he’s ready to go.
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.