Tim Hudson allows five runs over four innings in second rehab start

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From Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution comes word that Tim Hudson allowed five runs on nine hits over four innings tonight in his second minor league rehab start with Class A Rome.

That’s a pretty ugly line, but Rogers notes that he was the victim of a “ton of seeing-eye stuff.” On the bright side, he threw 45 out of 62 pitches for strikes while striking out one and walking none.

Hudson is currently rehabbing from November surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. He tossed two scoreless innings in a Grapefruit League game last Monday against the Mets before allowing two runs (one earned) over three innings in his first rehab start last Saturday. Barring any setbacks, he should be fully stretched out to join the Braves’ rotation in late April or early May.

Hudson, 36, went 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA and 158/56 K/BB ratio over 215 innings last season. He owns an impressive 3.16 ERA since the start of the 2007 season. Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, Johan Santana, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia are the only pitchers (with at least 800 innings pitched) with a lower ERA during the same time frame.

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.