J.A. Happ was released from the hospital yesterday after he was hit in the head by a line drive during Tuesday’s start against the Rays. While the most important thing is that he’s going to be OK, the Blue Jays are going to have to get by without him for a little while.
According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Happ is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The 30-year-old left-hander suffered a head contusion and a small fracture behind his left ear as a result of the comebacker, but he is also dealing with a sprained right knee.
The current plan calls for Happ to be idle for about one week before he starts throwing off flat ground. If all goes according to plan, he could be back in Toronto’s rotation in the early part of June. Pretty remarkable given the scary nature of Tuesday’s incident.
Happ has a 4.91 ERA and 26/19 K/BB ratio in 33 innings over seven starts this season. He owns a 4.23 ERA in the majors.
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.