Juan Nicasio was back in the Rockies’ clubhouse yesterday, two weeks after suffering a broken neck when he was struck in the head by a line drive.
Nisasio fractured his C-1 vertebrae and as Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post notes “actor Christopher Reeves was paralyzed after injuring the C-1.”
Fortunately for Nicasio he’s already out of the hospital after undergoing neck surgery last week and according to Armstrong “the only visible sign of his ordeal was the neck brace he was wearing.”
“I can’t begin to tell you how warm it is in that clubhouse seeing Juan Nicasio walking around here,’’ manager Jim Tracy said. “This guy is some kind of tough, I’ve got to tell you.’’
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.