Too many Twins are in the best shape of their lives!

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The Twins have suffered a lot of injuries this year. Columnist Jim Souhan suggests that the problem may be over-training:

Thus the modern ballplayer is bigger, faster, stronger, better-trained, and yet seemingly more fragile. Might many of these new-age injuries be the result of over-training?

Michael Cuddyer agrees with the over-training thing. In contrast, broadcaster Jack Morris seems to suggest that players are wimpy and that the iron men of the 1980s with whom he played never would have allowed their teammates so much DL time.  We’ve heard this from others in Twins-land recently. Too bad Morris didn’t bark hard enough at Mark Fidrych when they were teammates in the late 70s. If The Bird would have been cajoled out of his apparent softness, those Tigers teams may have won more than the lone World Series. Missed opportunities.

I’m not sure what to make of the over-training argument because my experience with “training” begins and ends with me on my treadmill watching ballgames and X-files reruns while praying for the torture to end.  I’m sure, though, that better diagnosis, greater prudence on the part of trainers and players when it comes to injuries — not to mention the need to use injuries as a scapegoat any team’s poor performance —  has quite a bit to do with it too.

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.