With John Danks injured, Jake Peavy makes first ever relief appearance

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Left-hander John Danks left his start Saturday against the Nationals in the second inning with a strained left oblique, and with the White Sox bullpen already tired, manager Ozzie Guillen was forced to turn to Jake Peavy in relief.

For Peavy, it was the first career relief appearance after 238 major league starts with the Padres and White Sox.  He’s working on two days’ rest after coming off the DL and giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday.

As of this writing, he’s working in the seventh inning having already thrown three scoreless innings and struck out five.

Danks was running to back up third base on a flyball when he was injured in the second.  The White Sox had Brian Bruney take over then and pitch the third, but they didn’t think they could get through the rest of the game using strictly relievers.  They’re short-handed in the pen because of the current six-man rotation.

That will likely change on Sunday, though.  Danks seems sure to land on the disabled list, putting the rotation back at five.   The White Sox will call up a reliever to replace him on the roster.

Update: Peavy ended up throwing four scoreless innings and picking up the win in relief.  He allowed only one hit and struck out seven in the 55-pitch outing.  If one day was any indication, he would have just fine in the closer’s role had the White Sox opted to take him up on it.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a 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.