The last time Joel Zumaya threw a baseball in a game that mattered was June 28, 2010. Given his injury over the weekend, if he does so again, it won’t be until 2013 at the earliest. Facing yet another rehab has to seem horrifying to the guy, so it would be totally understandable if he just decided to hang it up.
But he hasn’t figured that out yet. He told reporters this morning that he’s still thinking about it and that it’s a family decision. He’ll talk with other pitchers who have undergone Tommy John surgery to see what’s what.
Some guys are just snake bit. It’s a shame that a pitcher as fun to watch as Zumaya is one of them.
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.