Mike Matheny may need surgery for ruptured disc in back

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Mike Matheny has been dealing with back problems and the Cardinals manager revealed yesterday that doctors found a ruptured disc that may require surgery.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch “the rupture has created loose particles near his spine that are pressing against the nerve and causing numbness to shoot into his leg.”

For now he’ll get an epidural injection and keep working through the discomfort, but surgery looms for the former catcher who went 88-74 in his first season replacing Tony La Russa.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to 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.