Orioles slugger Chris Davis is back in Baltimore’s starting lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Astros after spending the minimum 15 days on the disabled list with a left oblique strain. He is batting third and starting at first base as the O’s try to finish off a three-game sweep of the visiting Astros.
Davis was off to a relatively slow start before the injury, batting .250 with a .754 OPS, two home runs, and 13 RBI in 22 games. He had a 1.004 OPS, 53 homers, and 138 RBI in 160 games last season.
The Orioles are currently 20-14 with a 1 1/2 game lead in the American League East standings.
Matt Wieters was placed on the 15-day disabled list in a corresponding move Sunday to open a spot on the active roster for Davis. Wieters continues to have issues with his throwing elbow.
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.