Scott Rolen working his way back from shoulder surgery

3 Comments

Scott Rolen has already missed five weeks following shoulder surgery that was initially expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks, but the third baseman with a lengthy history of shoulder problems said yesterday that he remains hopeful about playing again this season.

Rolen spent the weekend fielding ground balls and taking swings in the batting cage, telling Jeff Wallner of MLB.com that he’s “close to getting back on the field” and “not too far away.”

He hit just .242 with five homers and a .676 OPS in 65 games before the surgery, but Rolen explained that going under the knife has strengthened his shoulder. Because the Triple-A seasons ends later this week a rehab assignment may not be an option by the time Rolen is ready for game action and he hasn’t faced live pitching since July 20.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

Getty Images
1 Comment

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.