New White Sox bench coach ready to go tit-for-tat

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Obviously more interested in fan approval than league approval, new White Sox bench coach Mark Parent, a former major league catcher, said his team will seek revenge for hit batters this season, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“You hit our guy, we’ll hit your guy,” he told the gathered crowd, earning him some scattered applause at SoxFest.

The White Sox were hit a major league-high 84 times last season, while they themselves hit just 44 batters on the year. However, a big part of the separation was due to Carlos Quentin’s presence. Quentin led the AL with 23 HBPs in just 118 games last season, and he’s at 97 in 616 games lifetime. Since he’s been shipped off to San Diego, the White Sox’s HBP totals are sure to fall in 2012, regardless of what kind of policies the coaching staff has in mind.

For what it’s worth, Parent may not realize that a batter often has as much to do with the HBP as the pitcher. The longtime backup was hit by pitches just twice in 13 major league seasons.

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.