The news is surprisingly good for Yadier Molina.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the All-Star catcher woke up with no stiffness on Sunday morning after making an early exit from Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Cubs.
“I feel a lot better, way better,” Molina told Goold. “It’s spasms still a little bit, but moving around I’m much better. Each day, each second, it will get better.”
Molina appeared to tweak his back and hip while ducking out of the way of a high-and-tight Carlos Marmol fastball on Saturday. He is not in the starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale at Wrigley Field but may be a go on Monday night against the Astros.
The 30-year-old is batting .319/.376/.503 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 130 games played this season.
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.