From Brian McTaggart of MLB.com comes word that the Astros have optioned young right-hander Jordan Lyles to Triple-A Oklahoma City, effectively ending his first season as a major league starter.
Lyles will return to the big leagues when rosters expand on the first of September, but only as a long man out of the bullpen. It’s doubtful he’ll be used more than three or four times down the stretch.
A supplemental first-round pick back in 2008, the 20-year-old earned a promotion to Houston after registering a 3.20 ERA and 41/16 K/BB ratio in 59 innings at the Triple-A level. He posted a 5.02 ERA, 61/23 K/BB ratio and 1.38 WHIP in his first 89 2/3 major league innings.
Lyles doesn’t turn 21 years old until mid-October, and should have a bright future if he continues developing.
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.