From Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe comes word that right-hander Clay Buchholz has been scratched from his scheduled Sunday start against the Braves because of an illness. Aaron Cook will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket and officially activated from MLB’s 15-day disabled list to pitch in his place.
Buchholz has an ugly 5.53 ERA in 14 total appearances this season, but he’s registered a sparkling 4-0 record, 2.53 ERA and 31/7 K/BB ratio over his last 37 innings — and seemed poised for another solid set of results in Boston’s series-finale with Atlanta.
Cook allowed eight hits and seven runs (six earned) in 2 2/3 innings with the Red Sox earlier this year.
UPDATE: Buchholz was still in the hospital on Sunday morning and is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a gastro-intestinal issue, according to beat writer Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
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.