Cody Asche has been out for a month with a hamstring injury, but the Phillies are expected to activate the third baseman from the disabled list Friday.
Asche showed that he’s ready by going 5-for-6 with a home run in two minor-league rehab games at Triple-A. Before the injury he hit .258 with four homers and a .771 OPS in 40 games, improving upon his rookie OPS by 80 points.
He’ll resume starting every day at third base for Philadelphia, which has been using Reid Brignac as the primary fill-in.
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.