Corey Hart returns to Brewers lineup despite foot injury

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Corey Hart has been out since aggravating his plantar fasciitis on September 9, missing eight games, but the Brewers first baseman in back in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Pirates.

Hart admitted previously that the pain in his foot is “not going to go away” this season and had a setback when trying to do some pregame baserunning earlier this week, but with the Brewers now just 2.5 games out of the Wild Card race he’ll try to play through the discomfort.

Hart has had an excellent season, hitting .278 with 27 homers, 35 doubles, and an .855 OPS in 137 games, but Milwaukee went 7-1 in his absence while using Travis Ishikawa and Taylor Green in a first base platoon.

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.