As if falling to 6-16 with a loss to the Angels wasn’t bad enough for the Twins tonight, Justin Morneau exited the game with soreness in his surgically repaired left wrist.
Even worse, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Morneau is flying back to Minnesota to be examined by a team doctor, which isn’t a good sign considering the Twins are just beginning a six-game West Coast road trip that goes through Sunday.
Morneau has played 20 of 22 games after entering the season as a huge question mark following his concussion-related health problems and multiple surgeries. His production has been very inconsistent, including a .239 batting average and .313 on-base percentage, but he has shown good power with four homers and five doubles in 74 at-bats.
And now the Twins will wait to see if the former MVP has a third straight season ruined by injuries.
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.