Matt Hobgood has been a disappointment since the Orioles selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, throwing 158 innings with a 5.48 ERA in the low minors, and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the 21-year-old right-hander will miss the entire season following shoulder surgery.
According to Connolly he’ll go under the knife on April 2 to “size down his right rotator cuff.” Tommy John elbow surgery gets all the attention, but rotator cuff surgeries are often even tougher for pitchers to come back from.
Hobgood received a $2.4 million signing bonus and wasted no time debuting in full-season ball, but he’s been dealing with shoulder problems since late 2010, spending last season on and off the disabled list while unsuccessfully trying rest and rehab.
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.