Aybar experiences back tightness during BP

Angels shortstop unsure if he will need stint on disabled list

Aybar experiences back tightness during BP

KANSAS CITY -- Angels shortstop Erick Aybar went to the dugout just before first pitch on Thursday, then promptly retreated the clubhouse. His team was playing, but he was out, a late scratch after the left side of his lower back flared up during pregame batting practice, and Aybar simply couldn't watch.

"I can't do it," Aybar said, in Spanish, after the Angels' 7-6 win over the Royals. "It's hard."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the team is "not concerned long range" over Aybar's back issue, but there's still no timeline for his return. The infield Scioscia deployed after shortstop Taylor Featherston was pinch-hit for in the ninth -- with Johnny Giavotella at shortstop, Albert Pujols at third base, Conor Gillaspie at second and Kole Calhoun at first -- proved Aybar was not available in any capacity.

Asked if he believes he'll have to go on the disabled list, Aybar said: "I can't say right now. It's tight, so it hurts a little bit, but let's see tomorrow."

Aybar, 31, is batting .273/.311/.335 while playing in 110 of the Angels' 114 games. If he misses time, Ryan Jackson would likely be promoted from Triple-A.

Aybar initially hurt his back while making a diving catch on a shallow popup from White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez on Wednesday night. Adrenaline carried him through the rest of the game, but he felt it afterwards. And then, Aybar stepped to the cage for his second round of BP on Thursday afternoon.

"That's when it grabbed on me," Aybar said.

Worth noting

Mike Trout was checked on by Angels trainer Adam Nevala in the top of the ninth after coming up lame while sprinting back to first base, but the center fielder remained in the game. Trout said his calves felt a little sore, probably due to dehydration, but he's fine.

• Angels catcher Chris Iannetta was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day on Thursday and isn't expected to start on Friday, either. Carlos Perez would have started on Thursday regardless -- he's caught each of Garrett Richards' previous 10 starts -- Scioscia said Iannetta needs "a breather." The 32-year-old is 2-for-25 in August.

• Giavotella batted leadoff against a right-hander, Jeremy Guthrie, on Thursday, prompting the left-handed-hitting David DeJesus to bat ninth. Scioscia said DeJesus "profiles as a leadoff hitter" against right-handed starters, but he entered Thursday just 2-for-29 since joining the Angels.

• Asked about White Sox closer David Robertson calling him "bush league" on Wednesday night, Scioscia called the situation was "much ado about nothing" and reiterated that there was "no gamesmanship at all" on his part.

Scioscia said he was simply trying to find out if the ninth-inning call on Aybar's strikeout stood after replay review, because White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers didn't tag him or because they killed the play by virtue of the umpire signaling an out, which would have allowed the Angels to play under protest. Scioscia said it was "an important distinction I had to clear up."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.