Reds place Scott Rolen on disabled list with shoulder strain

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Scott Rolen’s shoulder problems are back.

According to Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, the veteran third baseman was placed on the disabled list on Sunday afternoon with a muscle strain in his left shoulder.

The Reds are hopeful that he will only need 15 days to recover, but Rolen is 36 years old with a long history of shoulder injuries. It could be a while.

Chris Valaika was recalled from Triple-A Louisville in a corresponding move to take Rolen’s roster spot, but it will be Juan Francisco and Miguel Cairo handling starting third base duties for the next few weeks.

Rolen has posted a .217/.246/.417 batting line, two home runs and 12 RBI through 65 plate appearances.

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.