If all goes according to plan, the Reds will have their starting catcher and fill-in closer on the roster early next week.
According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds manager Bryan Price said today that catcher Devin Mesoraco is on track to be activated from the disabled list on Monday or Tuesday. The 25-year-old backstop suffered an oblique injury toward the end of spring training, but he has made it through two minor league rehab games with Double-A Pensacola without incident.
As for Broxton, he is expected to be activated on Tuesday. The veteran right-hander began the year on the disabled list following forearm surgery last August, but he struck out two over a scoreless inning last night in Double-A. Despite putting up a mediocre 4.11 ERA and 25/12 K/BB ratio over 30 2/3 innings last season when healthy, Broxton is expected to be used in the closer role until Aroldis Chapman is ready to return.
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.