Angels optimistic Erick Aybar will avoid the disabled list

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Erick Aybar “did agility drills and rode an exercise bike for about 20 minutes” today and “the Angels are confident the shortstop won’t need to go on the disabled list.”
Aybar appeared to have suffered a major leg injury when Casey McGehee slid into him while breaking up a double play Monday night, saying later that he was “scared that day … I thought I was hurt bad when it happened.”
However, an MRI exam revealed merely a hyper-extended knee and Mike Scioscia said today that “he’s feeling a lot better.” Incidentally, while he hasn’t watched the replay of McGehee’s slide, Aybar said he “had no problem with it” because “he was trying to take me out and slid hard, I was trying to catch the ball.”
Maicer Izturis initially stepped in for Aybar at shortstop, but now that he’s also injured Brandon Wood is starting there this afternoon for the second straight game. Wood played shortstop extensively in the minors before shifting primarily to third base last season and at this point his bat is a much bigger question mark than his glove.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.

The Dodgers are concerned about Julio Urias’ shoulder

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Things are going great for the Dodgers lately. They’ve won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. They lead the National League in wins and are in first place in, arguably, the best division in baseball.

But there are a lot of moving parts on a baseball team, and even when some things are going great, other things can go not-so-great. Like this:

Urias has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and shut down indefinitely. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, but his shoulder is still bothering him. He has not pitched in the bigs since late May, when he allowed seven runs in less than three innings against the Miami Marlins. He was sent down after that and went 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, six walks and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched in three starts with Oklahoma City before being shelved.