Sam Fuld has been playing since crashing into the outfield wall last Friday, but this morning he woke up with a severe headache and the Twins have placed him on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Fuld has been starting in center field for the Twins because the normal starter, Aaron Hicks, was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list last week. And in addition to Hicks and now Fuld the Twins have also used the concussion DL for Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe, and Wilkin Ramirez within the past year. And before that Justin Morneau’s career was nearly ruined by a concussion.
As for who’ll play center field for the Twins now … well, today it’s Eduardo Escobar, a career-long infielder with zero center field experience who looked terrible in left field yesterday and misplayed a ball that probably cost Minnesota a game. Eduardo Nunez is another option, but he’s also a career-long infielder. And to think, not so long ago the Twins felt they had so much organizational center field depth that they traded Denard Span and Ben Revere in the same offseason.
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.