MRI exam on Derek Holland’s shoulder shows no damage

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Texas sent Derek Holland for an MRI exam after placing him on the disabled list yesterday with left shoulder fatigue and the team announced that no structural damage was found.

In fact, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram the Rangers think “Holland is experiencing a lack of strength in the shoulder related to the stomach virus he caught last month.”

That would certainly be good news, because while Holland was sick enough to lose 15 pounds it’s not a long-term problem like any kind of significant shoulder injury would be.

For now Holland has been shut down from all throwing for at least a week and the Rangers will put him through some further testing related to the stomach virus, with Alex Ogando moving from the bullpen back into the rotation.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal

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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.