March 22, 2018

Erick Aybar fails to make Twins’ roster, despite Polanco suspension

In a surprise move, veteran infielder Erick Aybar will not make the Twins’ roster out of spring training, despite the recent 80-game suspension of Jorge Polanco, the team’s starting shortstop. That was one of a flurry of moves the team made on Thursday, according to MLB.com.

Aybar was among several who didn’t make the team, while pitchers Tyler Duffey and Alan Busenitz were sent to Triple-A Rochester. Duffey, who was battling veteran Phil Hughes for the long relief spot, lost out to Hughes who had a much improved outing Thursday after getting blasted in his previous start.

Hughes struck out four in four-plus innings and allowed only one run in a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees. That effort slashed his spring ERA to 6.06, while Duffey exits spring with a 7.11 ERA.

Extra innings…

-Kennys Vargas, the big first baseman and designated hitter for the Twins, has been claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds. With first base occupied by Joe Mauer and DH duties shared by a number of players, Vargas never really found a home with the Twins.

-The 2018 regular season lineup made an appearance Wednesday in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The lineup was Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Logan Morrison, Eduardo Escobar, Max Kepler, Byron Buxton and Jason Castro. On the mound in that game was Jose Berrios, who struck out five in five innings.

-Jake Odorizzi has been named the Twins’ Opening Day starter. Kyle Gibson will start the Twins’ home opener on April 5, while Jose Berrios will headline a two-game series against the Cleveland Indians in Puerto Rico in mid-April, according to MLB.com.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.