Angels place Erick Aybar on DL with oblique strain

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The Angels waited a couple of days to see how shortstop Erick Aybar would respond to the oblique strain that he suffered on Wednesday night. Today, they decided not to wait any longer.

According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, the Angels have placed Aybar on the 15-day disabled list and recalled reliever Francisco Rodriguez from the Triple-A level.

Aybar was 5-for-12 with three doubles, two RBI and a stolen base before the unfortunate injury. Brandon Wood and Maicer Izturis will continue to split time at shortstop in his absence.

The Halos now have eight players on the disabled list including Aybar: starter Scott Kazmir, reliever Scott Downs, starter Joel Pineiro, first baseman Kendrys Morales, outfielder Reggie Willits, reliever Bobby Cassevah and second baseman Freddy Sandoval.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.