Erick Aybar got the offense started for the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night, launching a solo home run in the second inning off of Atlanta Braves starter Mike Minor. However, he wasn’t around to see it when the Braves put on their own display of power in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings of the 7-3 Braves win.
As reported by MLB.com’s Joe Morgan, Aybar exited Sunday’s game with a bruised hip, having aggravated an injury sustained on Saturday while diving for a ball in the field. The injury apparently tightened up on him in the top of the third inning, when Aybar legged out a fielder’s choice to reach first. He would be lifted from the game for defensive replacement John McDonald in the bottom half of the inning.
#Angels SS Erick Aybar’s hip injury does not appear to be serious. He said he expects to play Monday in Cleveland.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) June 16, 2014
However, the news appeared to be somewhat good after the game, as both Aybar and manager Mike Scioscia seemed to indicate that the move was just precautionary and they don’t expect Aybar to miss any time with the injury.
That’s good news for the Angels, who dropped two of three against the Braves after take two of three from the Oakland Athletics, moving them 4.5 games behind the A’s in the American League West. The Angels start a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians on Monday night in Cleveland.
The 30-year-old Aybar has been off to a good start for the Angels in 2014, slashing .290/.326/.436 with 5 home runs and 37 RBI. Combined with his solid defense (10.8 UZR/150), Aybar has already been worth 2.2 wins for the Angels, according to Fangraphs. That places him just behind Troy Tulowitzski in terms of value among Major League shortstops in 2014.