There have been a number of changes since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over the Cubs’ front office in October of 2011. Familiar faces like Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and Andrew Cashner have all been traded as part of the rebuilding process. With the latest deal, which sent right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics for a package including Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily, Darwin Barney is feeling a little lonely in the Cubs’ clubhouse these days:
Barney, now the longest-tenured player on the Cubs, isn’t far off. Starlin Castro, Welington Castillo, and James Russell are the only other remaining players from the 2011 team. We’re sure to see more changes soon.
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.