After blowing a save last night Francisco Rodriguez uttered one of my favorite quotes of the season:
You know what, I’m going to speak as a fan, not as a player. I definitely have to get my head out of my butt, pretty much. Simple as that. I have to stop these pathetic outings; they’re really pathetic. I just have to get it done, I have to find a way to go out there and be more aggressive, start making quality pitches, and start getting people out. Because it’s been really embarrassing this month, pretty much.
I like everything about that quote, from the fact that he actually said “butt” instead of something that needed censoring to his repeated use of “pretty much.”
Rodriguez blew his first save chance of the season back in April, converted 19 straight saves, and has now blown saves in back-to-back appearances. Yet for all the criticism he’s taken and for how critical of himself he is in that quote Rodriguez is actually having a very good season with a 3.34 ERA and 41/14 K/BB ratio in 35 innings, including seven straight outings without issuing a walk.
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.