Angels’ Erick Aybar could be bound for disabled list
Erick Aybar appears headed to the disabled list because of a bruised left heel the shortstop said “hurt a lot more” Wednesday than it did Tuesday night, when his heel hit the front of the bag as he lunged to beat out an infield single.
“Today, it’s more sore,” Aybar, who was awaiting results of an MRI test and X-rays Wednesday night, said through an interpreter. “I’m not sure if anything is broken. I just know it hurts right now. I’m pretty worried. I want to play and help the team win. I don’t like to miss games.”
Aybar was off to an excellent start, batting .321 in his first seven games in the No. 2 spot. Alberto Callaspo hit second Wednesday night.
Brendan Harris started at shortstop, but if Aybar goes on the DL, Manager Mike Scioscia said Harris, who bats right-handed, and utility infielder Andrew Romine, who hits left-handed, would share the position. Luis Rodriguez, who has 407 games of big-league experience, would likely be called up from triple A.
At the very least, Aybar will miss several games, another blow to a team that lost ace Jered Weaver for four to six weeks because of a fractured left (non-pitching) elbow.
“We’re going to have to give this a couple of days,” Scioscia said. “If he doesn’t make progress, he’ll go on the DL.”
Scioscia said he left right-hander Kevin Jepsen in to face left-handed-hitting John Jaso with two out in the the seventh inning Tuesday night because lefty Sean Burnett “had a blister” on the middle finger of his pitching hand, and he didn’t think Burnett could go more than an inning.
Jepsen gave up a three-run homer to Jaso and a two-run homer to Brandon Moss, turning a 5-4 Angels lead into a 9-5 loss. Burnett, who pitched a scoreless eighth — his fifth appearance in seven games — said that he “was 100%" and that his issue wasn’t so much a blister as it was part of a nail that came off.
Was there a miscommunication between manager and reliever?
“We were absolutely on the same page — there was no communication breakdown, I guarantee you that,” Scioscia said. “Sean was used a lot in the first week, and in not wanting to repeat that, we need to be mindful of some things.”
The Angels, in need of outfield depth, signed Brad Hawpe to a minor league deal Wednesday. The 33-year-old veteran, who last played in the big leagues for San Diego in 2011 and was released by Pittsburgh this spring, will report to triple-A Salt Lake next week. An outfield spot opened at Salt Lake when Kole Calhoun fractured the hamate bone in his right hand. Calhoun will be out for six weeks.… Ryan Madson took another positive step in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session at about 85% intensity Tuesday. He hopes to begin throwing to batters within two weeks, and to be game-ready by early May.
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