Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is shaking up his lineup in an effort to jump-start an offense which has scored only six runs during their current six-game losing streak.
After getting the day off yesterday, Jose Reyes has been dropped down to second in the order tonight against the Diamondbacks. He’ll be flip-flopped with center fielder Emilio Bonifacio, who will bat leadoff against right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Signed to be a catalyst for the top of the Marlins’ lineup, Reyes is hitting just .205/.263/.329 with five doubles, two triples, four stolen bases and a .591 OPS over his first 80 plate appearances this season. The 28-year-old went 1-for-12 in his return to New York earlier this week and has just three hits over his last 23 at-bats.
Reyes has 44 career starts out of the No. 2 spot, but this is his first since July 10, 2010. History suggests the lineup tweak will be a temporary one.
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.