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Corey Seager is not on the Dodgers’ NLCS roster

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Dodgers’ All-Star shortstop Corey Seager will not be joining the team for the NLCS, according to an announcement made on Saturday. Seager appeared in all three games of the NLDS last week, but tweaked his back in Game 3 and was unable to work back from the injury in time for the next playoff round.

The 23-year-old infielder sustained the injury after sliding into second base in the first inning of Game 3. He wasn’t immediately removed from the game, however, and helped polish off the Division Series sweep with a .273/.467/.455 batting line and two RBI in 15 PA. Following the series, he was diagnosed with back soreness and was unable to participate in team workouts leading up to the NLCS. While he’s still listed as day-to-day, he hasn’t made enough progress to resume his post in the lineup for the next leg of the playoffs.

It’s a tough blow for Los Angeles, who could have used the extra pop in their lineup against the heavy-hitting Cubs. Without Seager, they’ll lean on 28-year-old middle infielder Charlie Culberson, who went 2-for-15 with two hits and two walks during the 2017 season. This will be his first postseason appearance since 2016, when he went 0-for-7 with a pair of strikeouts in four NLDS games against the Nationals. The Dodgers could also turn to some combination of Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez and Logan Forsythe at shortstop, though the exact configuration has yet to be determined.

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.