Dustin Pedroia back in lineup, talks about knee problem

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One day after getting his knee scoped, Dustin Pedroia is back at second base for the Red Sox.

Pedroia said that he had an MRI on Monday that revealed cartilage damage in his right knee, which led to the decision to have it scoped Thursday.  If the damage needed to be repaired, Pedroia probably would have missed 3-4 weeks.

However, the procedure performed by Dr. Tom Gill showed that it was a bruised kneecap that was the real cause of Pedroia’s soreness.

“It’s weird because I got one opinion and the other opinion was different,” Pedroia told the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham. “The safest thing was to go in there and let Dr. Gill see it. I saw it, too. It was kind of a cool thing. He had a camera in there. I got to see what the deal was.

“It’s been bugging me for a while. As long as I can continue to play and just deal with it, it’s good I guess.”

Pedroia said what little cartilage damage there was wasn’t worth having surgery now or even after the season unless the soreness worsens. He expects to keep playing through the soreness, and the Red Sox aren’t planning on scheduling regular days off for him.

“I actually feel better when I don’t have a day off,” he said. “I don’t know if I get some blood flowing or stuff like that. That’s why I don’t really like taking days off.”

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.