Troy Tulowitzki underwent groin surgery today, as expected, and the Rockies shortstop has been given an initial return timetable of 6-8 weeks.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Tulowitzki is already able to walk around following the operation, which removed scar tissue that was irritating a nerve in his groin.
Returning in eight weeks would put Tulowitzki back in the lineup in mid-August, at which point the Rockies will likely have already been sellers at the trade deadline. In other words, there won’t be much motivation to rush him off the disabled list for the final month of the season if he experiences any kind of setback in the rehab process.
In the meantime Marco Scutaro takes over as the Rockies’ starting shortstop–perhaps auditioning for a stretch-run role with various contenders–and Chris Nelson is the primary second baseman.
Tulowitzki, who played an average of 134 games in his first five full seasons, hit .287 with eight homers and an .846 OPS in 47 games before being shut down.
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.