If only he could stay there.
"I'd love to, because you're batting directly in front of people that can bring you in," the Angels' switch-hitting shortstop said in Spanish. "But I don't make that decision; the manager does. When I'm playing, I have no complaints about batting first or second, eighth or ninth. I just want to play."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted Aybar is "more of a matchup guy" at the leadoff spot at this point. He has the speed and is a good bunter, but Aybar's career .317 on-base percentage, not to mention the .301 mark he finished with last season, will probably keep him batting eighth or ninth for most of the 2014 season.
Since Aybar doesn't walk a lot, he needs to be in a good groove offensively to get on base.
"Erick's on-base hasn't been horrible," Scioscia said. "Some years it's been down. But I think, overall, Erick's a guy who gets on base. He bunts a lot and manages to set the table. He's more of a matchup guy to hit up top, but he gets on base enough when he's going right."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less