Josh Collmenter struggled this spring and has coughed up 11 runs in seven innings through two starts, leading to speculation that he might not be long for the Diamondbacks’ rotation despite a very solid rookie season that saw him throw 154 innings with a 3.38 ERA.
Kirk Gibson confirmed to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Collmenter will make his next scheduled start Thursday, but declined to say that the right-hander’s rotation spot was safe beyond that.
Collmenter told Gilbert that he’s struggling mentally as much as physically by “trying to think of too many things rather than just throwing the ball” and “it becomes clogged up with thoughts.”
Collmenter rarely tops 90 miles per hour with his fastball, has an odd over-the-top delivery, and was never considered a top prospect in the minors, all of which played a role in his not reaching the majors until age 25 and may also lead to him having a shorter leash now that he’s there. Toss in the fact that the Diamondbacks have several very promising young pitching prospects close to being MLB-ready and he might be pitching for his job Thursday versus Atlanta.
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.