According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan Braun was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Diamondbacks due to neck spasms.
Braun began feeling the discomfort in his neck during batting practice. It’s not clear if he’ll be available to pinch hit. Khris Davis will start in his place in left field and make his major league debut.
Braun is coming off a fine opening series against the Rockies where he went 4-for-10 with one home run, one double, four RBI and three walks.
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.