Minnesota Twins: Erick Aybar should make the Opening Day roster

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Erick Aybar
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Erick Aybar /

The Minnesota Twins received bad news over the weekend with the Jorge Polano suspension. However, it is not the end of the world as the Twins have plenty of in-house options to help fill the void.

One of the players the Minnesota Twins has to choose from is Erick Aybar. Aybar was a non-roster invite to Spring camp and has been making his case for a roster spot all month. However, with Polanco out for 80-games, Aybar will now almost certainly make the Opening Day roster.

That being said, I am in no way saying Aybar will be getting three or four plate appearances every game during Polanco’s suspension. The Twins have Eduardo Escobar to fill that role. However, Aybar brings a wealth of knowledge for this young team to lean on and will have a significant role for the first couple of months.

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Making the case for Aybar

This will be a character building first few months of the 2018 season for the Minnesota Twins. They’re already without Ervin Santana for at least the first month. MLB has yet to determine Miguel Sano’s punishment for an alleged off-field incident over the Winter. Now Polanco will miss 80-games, and that’s not even the worst part about his suspension.

The Twins can easily get by and stay competitive while Polanco serves his suspension. However, when Minnesota makes the playoffs this year, Polanco will be ineligible to participate. This is exactly where Aybar comes in.

Steady glove work and veteran know how have kept Aybar in the Majors for over a decade. He is a career .271 hitter and has always demonstrated solid on-base abilities. Aybar also has 66 plate appearances with a .262 batting average in 17 games during the playoffs.

Aybar is not the player he once was when he ranked among the best middle-infielders in MLB. However, he has been through everything a player can go through during a season and that experience will pay dividends for the Twins.

Ehire Adrianza will get plenty of opportunities to make a difference for the team as well. Adrianza is a better player defensively and has more range to cover short than Aybar. My colleague Nate Palmer definitely makes a strong case for Adrianza. However, Adrianza doesn’t bring enough with the bat and is best suited for a utility role.

Next: Details of the Polanco suspension

Escobar will get the bulk of the at-bats until Polanco returns. However, if Sano misses a chunk of games, the Minnesota Twins will need someone to fill in at third too. Aybar has what it takes to help this team reach the next level.