A.J. Burnett might get bumped out of the rotation

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A.J. Burnett was hammered for nine runs (eight earned) over 3 1/3 innings in a 9-4 loss to the White Sox last night.

When Yankees manager Joe Girardi was asked if Burnett would remain in the starting rotation, he hinted that he could make some changes, reports Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.

“We’ll evaluate after this weekend where we are and what we need to do,”
Girardi said. “Take it the way you want to take it… we’ll do what we
have to do.”

It looked like Burnett was back on track after he went 3-1 with 2.00 ERA
in five starts last month, but including Friday’s loss, the high-priced
right-hander has allowed 26 earned runs over 30 innings (7.80 ERA) in
August.

It’s difficult to keep pushing Burnett out there, but it’s not like the Yankees have many alternatives. Andy Pettitte isn’t expected to return until the middle of September and Javier Vazquez was recently ousted from the rotation in favor of rookie right-hander Ivan Nova. I think we’re probably looking at a spot-start situation. The recently-activated Sergio Mitre piggybacked Burnett’s poor outing last night and tossed 4 1/3 shutout innings, so he seems like the most likely candidate.

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.