Last week there was speculation that the Mets would call up top prospect Zack Wheeler to make his big-league debut this Friday, but apparently his arrival will wait a few extra days.
Nothing official yet, but general manager Sandy Alderson all but confirmed during a radio interview with WFAN in New York that Wheeler is scheduled to make his debut on June 18, which would be next Tuesday against the Braves in Atlanta.
Wheeler, who was acquired from the Giants for Carlos Beltran and rated 11th on Baseball America‘s annual prospect list, has a 4.14 ERA and 66/25 K/BB ratio in 63 innings at Triple-A. Those numbers don’t look great at first glance, but the Pacific Coast League and specifically Las Vegas are extremely hitter-friendly environments. The PCL has a 4.52 ERA as a league and Las Vegas has a 4.90 team ERA.
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.