Rangers left-hander Derek Holland was supposed to throw three innings Monday night in his second minor-league rehab start at Triple-A, but instead he lasted just one inning as he comes back from knee surgery.
Holland allowed four runs, including back-to-back homers, and needed 42 pitches to record three outs. If there’s any good news from the outing it’s that Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas says he was clocked in the mid-90s. In fact: “Both home runs came off 94 mph fastballs.”
Holland called it “an upsetting start” on the heels of throwing two scoreless innings in his first rehab appearance last week. Expect the Rangers to use most of the allotted 30-day rehab window for Holland, who last pitched in the majors on September 28, 2013.
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.