Jordan Zimmermann’s next start has been pushed back from Friday to Saturday because of shoulder soreness.
For now the Nationals are saying it’s nothing serious, but James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that Zimmermann “has recently been taking anti-inflammatory medicine” and had trouble getting loose before his last outing.
It’d be a shame if shoulder problems limited Zimmermann down the stretch, as he’s come back from Tommy John elbow surgery to establish himself as one of the best young pitchers in the league. Since missing most of 2010 he’s started 47 games with a 2.77 ERA and 220/55 K/BB ratio in 296 innings, including 4-0 with a 0.97 ERA in July.
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.