Orioles catcher Matt Wieters won’t be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on May 26 and Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that there’s still no timetable for his return from an elbow injury that may eventually require surgery.
Wieters recently received a platelet-rich plasma injection to hasten the healing process and told Ghiroli that he’s optimistic about avoiding surgery, but he’s not even to the point of beginning a throwing program yet.
Wieters was off to a big start before being placed on the disabled list, hitting .308 with five homers and an .838 OPS in 26 games, and the Orioles initially thought he might be able to stay in the lineup at designated hitter before deciding instead to shut him down.
Steve Clevenger and Caleb Joseph have been sharing time behind the plate in Wieters’ absence, with Joseph getting more of the playing time recently.
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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.