If you’re not a big fan of replay you wanted no part of the first inning in yesterday’s Rangers-Nationals game. That’s when Ron Washington and Matt Williams came out to challenge two different calls on the same play.
With two outs and runners on the corners, the Rangers’ Alex Rios broke to steal second base. He was initially called safe, but then appeared to come off the bag and was tagged. Meanwhile, the runner on third — Elvis Andrus — came home and, initially anyway, was ruled to have crossed home plate before Rios was tagged out at second. So it’s 1-0 Rangers, yes? Well, no.
Matt Williams came out and asked for a replay as to whether or not Andrus crossed home before or after Rios was tagged. Ron Washington came out and asked for a replay as to whether Rios was actually out at second. It was the first time since the replay system started this season that two calls on the same play were challenged.
Williams won his, Washington lost his. Rios was out and Andrus was late. They went into the bottom of the first still tied 0-0. It ended up not mattering, of course, as the Nats couldn’t do anything off Yu Darvish and the Rangers won 2-0.
You can watch the thrilling, scintillating excitement of a double replay challenge here.
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.