The Braves recently acquired reliever Luis Ayala and they found a way to get him on the roster. Right-hander Cristhian Martinez, suffering from a right-shoulder strain, was placed on the disabled list, per David O’Brien. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez talked about his reliever’s injury:
We were going to pitch him in the last inning, and he threw about 10 or 12 pitches and turned around and told (bullpen coach) Eddie (Perez) that his shoulder was bothering him a little bit,” Gonzalez said. “We shut him down. Varvaro finished the game with two innings of work, and we flew Cristhian to Atlanta to see our doctor.
Martinez allowed two runs in one-third of an inning in his first appearance of the season on April 2 against the Phillies, then tossed two scoreless innings against the Cubs on April 6, also the last time he appeared in a game.
Ayala, 35 years old, also allowed two runs in one-third of an inning in his first appearance of the season on April 3, then followed it up with 1.2 scoreless innings on the fifth.
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.