The Phillies hadn’t scored a run in 30 innings dating back to Sunday until Raul Ibanez knocked in Ryan Howard with a fourth-inning triple on Friday night. The Phillies added two more runs and defeated the Marlins 3-2 to end a five-game losing streak.
Shane Victorino had my favorite quote of the night (via Martin Frank of the News Journal):
“We were all excited,” Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino said. “We forgot what it was like. We were shaking hands and I forgot
what it was like to high-five guys after a game. My hands were
With the win, the Phillies maintained their 1 1/2 game lead over the Braves in the National League East, but it wasn’t all good news on Friday night. According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Placido Polanco will undergo an MRI before Saturday’s game, the result of lingering soreness in his left elbow after being plunked by Tim Hudson on April 21. Still, Polanco is batting .313/.352/.469 with three homers and eight RBI through 96 at-bats this month.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.