Eric Aybar Helps Rally Angels Past Cubs at Diablo Park

Eric Aybar (on an injury rehab assignment) singled and walked and scored two runs, Quentin Davis punched-out three RBI singles, and Jonathan Walsh belted a solo HR, as the Angels rallied to defeat the Cubs 7-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.

Dillon Maples got the start for the Cubs and allowed one run on two hits and two walks in three innings of work (50 pitches). He also struck out five and threw a wild pitch. His hammer-curve was virtually unhittable (as it usually is), and he was able to command his fastball somewhat better today than in previous outings.  

Josh Vitters continued his EXST rehab assignment, playing 3B for seven innings and batting five times. He flied out twice, grounded out, and reached base on an Eric Aybar error and on an HBP, and he also made an outstanding double-saving backhanded diving catch on the 3rd base line. He certainly looks like he's ready to return to Iowa.

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

X. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-4 (F-9, F-7, 4-3, E-6, HBP)
NOTE: Vitters batted five times, hitting 3rd in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th innings)
1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-2 (BB, E-4, 1B, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-1 (K)
2a. Dong-Yub Kim, DH: 0-2 (HBP, 5-3, P-3, R)
2b. Carlos Escobar, PH: 1-1 (1B)
2c. Mark Malave, 3B: NO AB  
3a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-1 (BB, BB, L-7, CS)
3b. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-1 (F-8)
4a. Jose Dore, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, 2 RBI)
4b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-1 (BB, 4-3, R)
5a. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-2 (F-8, 6-3)
5b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-1 (BB, 1-3, R)
6a. Erick Castillo, C: 0-2 (4-3, 3-U)
6b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
7a. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (F-9, 1B)
7b. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-2 (3-U, L-1, RBI)
8a. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-2 (3-U, 4-6 FC)
8b. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (6-3)

1. Dillon Maples: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 50 pitches (31 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 26 pitches (16 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO 
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 0.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 27 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 7 pitches (5 strikes)

1B Trevor Gretzky - E-3 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely)

Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's  



"Ian Stewart sat out Friday at Triple-A Iowa due to a sore elbow."

he was HBP on to day.

stewart back in the lineup tonight...0-3, 1bb

also another error. that's 3 errors in 9 games...rust.

I may be revising my position that he couldn't do worse than what the Cubs have now.

leadoff triple (which should have only been a double and a m.stanton error, but official scoring decided to not saddle him with his 5th (wtf?) error on the year) followed by a wild pitch scoring the run.

can the cubs play MIA every day?

speaking of stanton...tie game.

1st of the year...OVER the LCD video screen...massive.

...and the cubs take the lead back...playing MIA is fun.

If the Asstros were still in the central, the Cubs could be a .500 team.

...and it's a tie game. olivo HR

t.wood done after 91 pitches in order to pinch hit borbon with 2 outs and a man on 1st in a tie game in top

borbon walks...dejesus singles in the run...everything is now genius level managing!

good luck with the bullpen tonight, swainy.

k.loe is set to get the call...that's the kind of guts that gives k.gregg 2 save chances to cash in.

Sveum pulled Wood after 80-something pitches last time, too. I wonder if Sveum is just afraid of over exposing him? He's a very good hitter.

k.gregg up in the pen getting ready for a save...lulz.

cubs win 3 in a row...4 out of 5.

world series here we come!

All games are free today (Sunday).

One thing that grinds me about Rizzo is the way he takes so many called third strikes on borderline pitches. He needs to learn to protect better with two strikes. This is what is causing him to strike out so much.

watching him try to handle a slider, especially on the inside, is frightening.

if the pitcher "misses" out over the plate or hangs it,'s awesome.

Cubs to whomever plays Miami after this: "We're sorry. We did not mean to wake up Giancarlo. But we're sure you'll be okay anyway."

Line drive should have hit Castro in the head, possibly wake him up.

He's been playing good defense recently though. Offensively I'm wondering if both him and Rizzo have suffered from being young, ordained stars on a team expected to fail and wanting to do too much. Players like that hate losing and I've read with Castro a lot that he's worked his butt off to get better everywhere. No way to prove it but gotta be a huge amount of pressure on them to succeed.

Well, recently in that he'll make a web-gem play, then cost his team the game or his pitcher 20 more pitches needlessly with his next error. He can hit though, and this certainly can cover a lot of shit.

Recent comments

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  • Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA. 

  • CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.

  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  •'re flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing

  • + Bankruptcy Court

  • +Price

  • Rondon 2.0!!

  • 2 spots left on the 40-man...wonder if they're going to play around in the rule-5 market...

  • A special after day after Thanksgiving thanks to AZ for his insanely detailed posts on all things roster. I don't know how you keep track of all that stuff - I suspect a chip implant, but whatever it is, it's cool.

  • ...the wrong half.

  • there's nothing like crapping out of the playoffs with a strong/young cheap team after pinching pennies for years then having theo talk about having to be creative with money to make things work for 2016...but hey, baseball isn't baseball without a farmer's market and beer garden plaza with ice rinks.

    they can do both...then again, if you want to look at it from a business point of view, they don't have to do both because the team is expected to be competitive and the merch+tickets+eyes-on-team are going to be at a peak unless they fail badly.