Darwin Barney was just three outs away last night from setting the new single-season record for consecutive errorless games at second base. It didn’t happen.
Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton hit a grounder up the middle in the bottom of the eighth inning which was fielded by Barney, but he made a wild off-balance throw to Anthony Rizzo at first base which allowed a run to score. It wasn’t an easy play, so Upton was credited with a hit, but Barney was given an error because the run scored. That’s rough. You can watch the play here.
It was Barney’s first error since April 17. His errorless streak ends at 141 games, which leaves him tied with Placido Polanco, who did it with the Tigers in 2007. Barney did break the National League record of 123 straight errorless games at second base, which was held by Hall of Famer and former Cub great Ryne Sandberg.
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.