Joe Ross moved to Nationals’ bullpen to finish out impressive rookie season

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Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com has the news:

Joe Ross won’t start another game for the Nationals this season, but he’ll still get opportunities to pitch out of the bullpen over the next four weeks while Tanner Roark takes his spot in the rotation.

Ross lasted just 4 1/3 innings Sunday against the Braves and 2 2/3 innings last Tuesday against the Cardinals. The 22-year-old is well above his previous career high in innings pitched and showing definite signs of fatigue, so the Nats pretty much have to lighten his workload despite their desperate position in the National League East.

And maybe Roark gives them a better shot at this point.

Ross registered a 3.79 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 68/20 K/BB ratio over his first 73 2/3 major league innings (13 starts) this season for Washington. He has a rotation spot locked up for 2016.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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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.