After giving up 11 runs last night, Ryan Rowland-Smith placed on DL rather than waiver wire

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Last night Ryan Rowland-Smith became the eighth pitcher to allow double-digit earned runs in a game this season, coughing up 11 runs in a blowout loss to the White Sox.
Rowland-Smith was down 4-0 after one inning, 7-0 after two innings, and 8-0 after three innings, yet the Mariners left him out there to complete five frames in an effort to save the bullpen. And now Rowland-Smith has been placed on the disabled list with a “lower back strain.”
After the ugly outing manager Don Wakamatsu said he’d have to talk to general manager Jack Zduriencik to “make a decision” regarding Rowland-Smith’s future, because at 1-10 with a 6.96 ERA he certainly didn’t deserve to remain in the Mariners’ rotation and the 27-year-old left-hander is out of minor-league options.
Sending him to the DL is a way to avoid potentially losing him on waivers, at least temporarily, and even with his horrendous work this season Rowland-Smith still has a 4.56 ERA in 352 career innings. Like me, Rob Neyer of ESPN.com wonders about the validity of the injury given the timing of the whole thing.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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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.