Phillies let Jonathan Pettibone opt against shoulder surgery

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Phillies right-hander Jonathan Pettibone is on the Triple-A disabled list with a shoulder injury that dates back to last season and team doctors recently diagnosed him with a partially torn labrum, but he’s decided against having surgery.

For now, at least. This stuff almost never goes well and surgery is almost always required eventually. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Pettibone opted instead for an anti-inflammatory injection and rest, which is scheduled to last until at least the end of the month.

When asked about Pettibone’s decision to bypass surgery, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said:

He was given all the options and he made the decision. He’s going to rest until the end of the month. There’s no timeline for when he’ll be ready. He’s had it. A lot of pitchers have these irregularities and pitch through them. They can get better. You also can strengthen the muscles and tissue around it. Jonathan’s is pretty small, but it was uncomfortable for him. Basically it’s how long can he manage through it.

Something tells me I’ll be writing a “Jonathan Pettibone to undergo shoulder surgery” post at some point, but hopefully I’m wrong. He had a 4.04 ERA in 18 starts during his MLB debut for the Phillies last season and at age 23 has mid-rotation starter upside long term.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a 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.