We already knew that Joel Hanrahan was having season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right forearm, but doctors didn’t rule out the possibility that he would also require Tommy John surgery. Well, the worst-case scenario played out today.
Hanrahan’s agent, Mike Dillon, confirmed that his client had Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He also had a bone spur removed. It usually takes pitchers at least one year to make it back from Tommy John surgery, so he figures to miss the early part of the 2014 season.
The Red Sox acquired Hanrahan from the Pirates during the offseason to serve as their closer, but he only made nine appearances with the club. The 31-year-old is due to become a free agent this winter and will likely have to settle for an incentive-laden contract.
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.