MLB has suspended Red Sox right-hander Brandon Workman six games for throwing a pitch at Rays third baseman Evan Longoria on Friday.
Workman didn’t actually hit Longoria, as the pitch instead went behind him, but both teams had already been warned after David Price hit David Ortiz with a pitch earlier in the game. Workman claimed afterward that “the ball was slick and it slipped out of my hand.”
Also noteworthy: Price was not suspended for actually hitting Ortiz with a pitch, presumably because there had yet to be a warning issued. It’s also possible that MLB determined Price didn’t act on purpose, although Price’s comments afterward certainly suggested he had.
Workman is scheduled to start for the Red Sox tomorrow, so it would probably make sense for him to appeal the suspension, if only temporarily, so that he could pitch that game before sitting out.
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.