Our own Matthew Pouliot wrote yesterday about Clay Buchholz’s struggles and wondered how much longer the Red Sox would leave him in the rotation.
Buchholz failed to make it out of the fourth inning yesterday as his ERA rose to 9.09, but afterward manager Bobby Valentine told reporters: “I have no plans to change him at this time.”
That obviously leaves the door open for a change in the near future and Valentine did note that “Clay’s performance is not what he wanted or I wanted it to be for sure … he left a lot of pitches in a real hittable zone and gave up a lot of hard-hit balls.’’
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that Buchholz has allowed at least five earned runs in all six of his starts, but with Aaron Cook joining Daisuke Matsuzaka on the disabled list the Red Sox are almost forced to give him some more time to get back on track.
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.