Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reports that Andy Pettitte has temporarily shut down his throwing program after suffering a “slight setback.” Pettitte:
“Doc said he was hoping it would be healed a little better than it was,” Pettitte said. “The first two weeks it healed really quick and I feel like we have slowed down a little bit. He said, ‘Let’s try to stay off it a little bit.’ That is where we are at.”
He was originally thought to be on schedule to return at the beginning of September. No word if this hiccup alters the timeline. UPDATE: No, no alteration in the timeline, the Yankees say.
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.