Once upon a time Indians right-hander Adam Miller was an elite pitching prospect, ranking as high as 16th on Baseball America‘s annual list in 2005 and cracking BA‘s top 100 in five different years.
Unfortunately he’s missed all of the past two seasons while undergoing four different surgeries on his right middle finger and Miller is now simply trying to get back on the Indians’ radar at age 26, with MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince writing that he was clocked as high as 94 miles per hour in a recent instructional league appearance.
If he can avoid another setback Castrovince speculates that Miller will be invited to the Indians’ big league camp in spring training and could even claim a spot on the Opening Day roster. He last pitched at Double-A in 2008, but the former first-round pick posted excellent numbers prior to the finger problems derailing his career and is definitely someone to root for.
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.