Pirates sign LHP Siegrist to minor league deal

Pirates sign LHP Siegrist to minor league deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist to a minor league contract Saturday with an invitation to major league spring training.

The 28-year-old Siegrist was 1-1 with one save and a 4.81 ERA in 46 games last season with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, who claimed him off waivers on Sept. 2. He had 43 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.

Siegrist has an 18-10 career record with 10 saves and a 3.04 ERA in 276 relief appearances over five major league seasons with the Cardinals and Phillies.

Siegrist will compete for a spot in the Pirates’ Opening Day bullpen.

“I just think it’s a good opportunity to make a team out of camp. I think I bring some experience that I can bring to the bullpen,” Siegrist said Saturday morning at spring training in Bradenton, Fla. “I’ve been in pretty much almost every situation you can ask for. I look to bring that here as well, fill in some spots.”

–Field Level Media

Hector Santiago gets start for White Sox against Mariners

Hector Santiago gets start for White Sox against Mariners

Veteran Hector Santiago will get the start when the White Sox take on the Mariners as Cactus League play continues Saturday in Peoria, Ariz.

Santiago is one of the handful of veterans that general manager Rick Hahn has brought to camp in an effort to bolster the bullpen. Santiago, who can start or relieve, agreed to a minor-league contract with the Sox on Feb. 14

The 30-year-old left-hander has made 189 career appearances (130 starts) over seven major-league seasons with the Sox (2011-13), Angels (2014-16) and Twins (2016-17), going 40-46 with a 4.00 ERA, four saves and 683 strikeouts. Santiago will be opposed by Mike Leake for the Mariners.

Here are the lineups:

  • White Sox
  • L. Garcia, SS
  • Saladino, 2B
  • Delmonico, LF
  • Davidson, 3B
  • Castillo, C
  • Palka, RF
  • Gillaspie, 1B
  • Engel, DH
  • Tilson, CF

Mariners

  • Gordon, CF
  • Romine, SS
  • Andreoli, LF
  • Ford, DH
  • Hague, 1B
  • Motter, 3B
  • Nieuwenhuis, RF
  • Beckham, 2B
  • Marjama, C

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White Sox prospect Louis Silverio was on way to Stoneman Douglas in aftermath of shooting »

Sullivan: White Sox’s Welington Castillo returns to Chicago with newfound respect »

Micker Adolfo out at least 6 weeks; Carlos Rodon won’t pitch in spring games »

Rockies prospect, alleged Parkland shooter rode bus together for 3 years

Rockies prospect, alleged Parkland shooter rode bus together for 3 years

All 30 MLB teams honored the victims of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla., by donning caps bearing the “SD” logo of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s baseball team.

But Rockies prospect Colton Welker had an incredible perspective no other player could match: He says he rode the school bus for three years with the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz.

“I went to middle school with him, I rode the bus with him for three years,” Welker said (via the Denver Post). “It was a complete shock.”

The minor league third baseman is a 2016 graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School, where he played on a state championship team in 2016.

“You read about it on the news and think, ‘Oh that’s miserable, that’s terrible.’ And it breaks your heart,” Welker told the Post. “But when it happens in your hometown, I was really thrown back. I was in shock. Total disbelief.”

Welker says he knew several of the 17 victims in the shooting, including Aaron Feis, the football coach who has been hailed as a hero for saving students, and athletic director Chris Hixon.

The 20-year-old Welker, considered the No. 8 third base prospect in baseball by MLB.com, said he couldn’t believe the news when someone texted him. His family, which still lives nearby, has been keeping him up to date on events.

“The town is quiet, my mom told me. People are still affected by it,” Welker said. “It will get back to normal soon, hopefully.”

Other alumni of the suburban Miami high school in spring training are Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Athletics minor league pitcher Jesus Luzardo.

Among the nicest tributes to shooting victims and survivors Friday in spring training, the Miami Marlins invited members of Stoneman Douglas High School’s baseball and softball teams to camp.

Cubs' Ben Zobrist says back is pain-free but no timetable for playing games

Cubs' Ben Zobrist says back is pain-free but no timetable for playing games

MESA, Ariz. – Cubs super utility man Ben Zobrist’s balky back could keep him out of games for at least several more days, but the 12-year veteran said it doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm for how good he feels overall coming into camp. And he’s not worried about getting enough at-bats before the opener, even if his spring debut is pushed back a week into the Cactus League schedule.

“Overall, I feel really, really good,” said Zobrist, adding the back tightened up after flying to Arizona about a week ago. “I feel in great shape.”

He said Saturday morning that the pain was gone.

Zobrist, who played only 128 games last year because of injuries, has only hit off a tee since the back tightened and expects to start taking batting practice on the field by early in the week.

“I was frustrated that it was tight,” said Zobriso, who had been especially upbeat about how well his offseason work had gone. “But it’s spring training so there’s a lot less pressure right now to make sure I’m playing in games when we’ve just started games in spring training.

“We’re just trying to be carful and make sure we’re not pushing it when we don’t need to, especially when I’ve got some miles on my body.”

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Twins sign veteran SS Erick Aybar to minor league contract

Twins sign veteran SS Erick Aybar to minor league contract

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have signed 12-year veteran shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

The Twins announced the deal on Saturday, when Aybar was expected to report to camp. Aybar made his debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2006 and was their everyday shortstop for seven seasons. He won a Gold Glove award in 2011 and made the All-Star team in 2014. He played last year for the San Diego Padres, batting .234 with 11 stolen bases in 333 at-bats.

The Twins have plenty of middle infield depth behind second baseman Brian Dozier and shortstop Jorge Polanco with versatile backups Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza, so Aybar will be a long shot to make the team.

For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball