Braves place Luis Ayala on DL with anxiety disorder

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Veteran right-handed reliever Luis Ayala was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Braves on Tuesday due to anxiety disorder, the team announced.

The news comes straight out of left field, given that Ayala has spent nine years in the big leagues without any public hint of previous problems. However, he is on a new team in Atlanta after the Orioles traded him earlier this month. The Braves became his seventh franchise when they picked him up for Chris Jones on April 10. He’s allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings since joining the team.

Ayala arrived in the majors in 2003 and immediately became a quality setup man for the Expos, picking up 10 wins, five saves and 19 holds as a rookie. He blew out his elbow in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, but returned and had a decent 2007 season for the Nationals. Things went downhill in 2008 and it looked like his career was just about over when he gave up 10 runs in 7 2/3 innings for the Marlins in 2009, but after spending the entirety of 2010 in the minors, he put together impressive showings in the majors for the Yankees in 2011 (2.09 ERA in 56 IP) and the Orioles last year (2.664 ERA in 75 IP).

David Carpenter was called up to replace Ayala in Atlanta’s bullpen.

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Update: Braves GM Frank Wren shed a little light on the situation early this evening:

 

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.