Hanley Ramirez wasn’t the only player who suffered an injury during the World Baseball Classic championship game.
Samuel Deduno, who tossed five scoreless innings on Tuesday to lead the Dominican Republic to the title, has been scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League start on Sunday due to groin tightness. He first felt the symptoms while pitching in Tuesday’s title game, but he didn’t think it was all that serious initially. However, the Twins shut him down after he experienced renewed discomfort while throwing a bullpen session on Thursday.
With Scott Diamond headed for the disabled list after a minor setback following elbow surgery, Deduno was being looked at as a fifth starter candidate, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that he may now have to look in another direction.
“He didn’t think it was a big deal but it is a big deal because you can’t start with that,” Gardenhire said. “So now we’re on hold until he gets back off that. It kind of makes us ad-lib a little bit.”
Cole DeVries, Liam Hendriks and P.J. Walters are among the alternatives if Deduno’s symptoms persist.
Deduno, 29, posted a 4.44 ERA and 57/53 over 79 innings with the Twins last season. He’s coming off a strong performance during the World Baseball Classic in which he compiled a 0.69 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio in 13 innings.
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.