Pat Neshek's injury was misdiagnosed by Twins

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Ron Gardenhire was described as “steaming” over the weekend when the Twins intended to demote Pat Neshek to Triple-A only to be told that the reliever preferred to be placed on the disabled list because his finger injury was still a problem.
Neshek received some subtle jabs from Gardenhire and some not-so-subtle jabs from the local media … and now it turns out the Twins’ medical staff misdiagnosed his injury the whole time.
Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports that an MRI exam revealed the injury is to Neshek’s palm rather than his middle finger, which makes sense given that a cortisone shot to his finger last month didn’t seem to help much. It also explain why Neshek had trouble gripping the baseball and why his fastball velocity dipped several miles per hour, causing him to struggle leading up to the planned demotion.
Neshek wrote via Facebook that he’s “not happy with anything that has gone on, especially when it could have been taken care of three weeks ago and I was told the wrong info.” However, he added that “Gardy and I are on the same page” and once healthy he’s willing to pitch wherever the Twins assign him, calling the whole thing “a miscommunication.”
As for why it took the medical staff a month to order an MRI exam or why the Twins felt the need to publicly criticize Neshek, that’s another issue.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a 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.