We’ve been keeping track of Dylan Bundy’s firsts because he’s started so well — he didn’t give up his first hit until his fifth professional start — so why not keep track of the first run too?
It came last night. It was unearned. And it wasn’t exactly a case of him getting knocked around: the runner reached on a wild pitch strike three, and came around on a couple of errors. Overall, Bundy struck out eight batters in three innings. He hit his pitch count, however, and had to come out.
So, through six professional starts, Bundy has now pitched 20 innings, given up that unearned run, has allowed only two hits and has struck out 33. Think he’s ready for the next level Mr. Duquette?
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.