Cubs vs. Angels at Tempe Preview, Friday 2/28, 2:05 CT

Christian Petersen

The Cubs play their first away game of spring 2014.

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- While the Cubs were drawing a record Cactus League crowd Thursday afternoon, attendance elsewhere in Arizona ranged from pretty good to spotty.

  • Another split-squad of Diamondbacks played the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch: 5,285
  • Indians vs. Reds at Goodyear (Reds were the "home" team in the shared park): 2,493
  • The Athletics kicked off their final season at Phoenix Muni: 3.649
  • Padres vs. Mariners at Peoria (Mariners were the "home" team in the shared park): 4,868
  • Rangers vs. Royals at Surprise (Royals were the "home" team in the shared park): 9,051

These numbers, obviously, will improve as the spring goes on and spring breakers head to the Phoenix area, especially if the weather is as good as it has been for the last month or so. That said, there is a slight chance of rain interrupting today's Cubs/Angels game (though most forecasts say the rain will hold off until late afternoon or early evening). Tomorrow, though, is a different story -- rain all day, which could affect both Cubs split-squad games.

Today is the Angels' Cactus League opener. Based on a quick check of available tickets early this morning, this game will draw about half capacity at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Cubs lineup:

Coghlan DH, Barney 2B, Sweeney CF, Schierholtz RF, Murphy 3B, Wells LF, Baez SS, Kottaras C, Valaika 1B

Angels lineup:

Calhoun RF, Trout CF, Pujols 1B, Freese 3B, Kendrick 2B, Ibanez DH, Iannetta C, Aybar SS, Shuck LF

In all of baseball history, there have been 55 players whose last name begins with "I". Nine of them are active players. Two of them are in the Angels' starting lineup today, and they are the first two in the "I" alphabetical list. Raul Ibanez had a pretty good year in 2013, but he will be 42 in June.

Chris Rusin, who still has a shot at the rotation this year, will start for the Cubs. He will be followed by James McDonald, also potentially up for a spot in the rotation.

Jered Weaver makes the start for the Angels, and he will be followed by Ernesto Frieri, Fernando Salas and Cory Rasmus. (Yes, Cory is Colby Rasmus' brother.)

Today's game is on WGN radio with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer. If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can watch the game live on Fox Sports West (or listen on KLAA 830). There will be a replay of this game on MLB Network at midnight CT.

MLB.com Gameday

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT. These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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