Bill Bray, who was bothered by a groin injury during spring training, has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left groin.
Cincinnati called up right-hander J.J. Hoover to replace the left-handed Bray on the roster and in the bullpen.
Hooper was acquired from the Braves in the Juan Francisco trade and had been serving as the closer at Triple-A. He’ll be making his MLB debut at age 24 after posting very impressive strikeout numbers in the minors.
Bray was a key part of the Reds’ bullpen last season, but injuries have repeatedly sidetracked his career and the 29-year-old southpaw hasn’t thrown 50 innings in a season since he was a rookie in 2006.
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.