Marlins to give Rob Brantly a look behind the plate

2 Comments

While right-hander Jacob Turner, the biggest piece the Marlins received from the Tigers in last month’s Anibal Sanchez-Omar Infante deal, continues to toil in the minors, the Marlins announced Sunday that they’re going to give his batterymate, Rob Brantly, an opportunity starting Tuesday.

Brantly will be called up to replace fellow catcher Brett Hayes on the roster and presumably will share time with big disappointment John Buck the rest of the way.

Buck, in the middle year of a three-year, $18 million contract, is hitting just .186/.302/.325 with eight homers and 30 RBI in 274 at-bats this season. He figures to play mostly against lefties for now, with the lefty-swinging Brantly getting an opportunity against righties.

Brantly, 23, has hit .298/.340/.412 with five homers and 41 RBI in 362 at-bats between Double- and Triple-A this year. He’s been on fire since the trade, batting .365/.389/.558 with two homers in 52 at-bats for Triple-A New Orleans. While he’ll probably never contend for Gold Gloves or turn into a legitimate middle-of-the-order guy, he could become an average starting catcher in time. At the very least, his decent left-handed bat should lead to a long career as a backup.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.