Ken Rosenthal’s latest notes column contains an item in which scouts are going on about how Pirates’ starter Charlie Morton has totally restructured his windup and delivery to be exactly like Roy Halladay’s:
“Roy Halladay now has an absolute clone on the Pittsburgh Pirates,” one rival scout says. “Morton has copied his windup perfectly, from the way he starts to the way he finishes. It’s almost identical.”
I haven’t seen Morton pitch so far this year, so I’ll withhold judgment. I’ll note, however, that while Morton is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts, he also has a grand total of six strikeouts in 22 innings. And 12 walks. Halladay had 30 walks all of last season in 33 starts.
Maybe the new windup will bring forth Roy Halladay-like results for Morton. Then again, maybe it will have about the same effect that getting the Jennifer Aniston haircut had on all of those women who got it back in 1995: superficial resemblance, but still one hell of a difference.
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.