While the news was good Monday, Bryce Harper will have to sit out at least two more games following an MRI on his left hip, CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman reports.
No structural damage was found in the hip, but the doc did think it best he take a couple of games off to try to get rid of the inflammation present.
“He’s been playing with it off and on for the last week,” manager Davey Johnson said. “They were treating it last week as a sprain. A sprain, you just give it ultrasound and massage and hopefully you get by it. So this may be even better that we know it’s inflammation. They can correct that with medication. So it might be perfect.”
Harper has played in just one game in the last six days because of the condition, going 0-for-2 with a walk on Friday. Tyler Moore is starting in left field in his place tonight against the Mets.
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.