How Erick Aybar Playing In The WBC Can Help The Los Angeles Angels

By Jason Evans

I said last week not to expect many Los Angeles Angels to be on the rosters of countries in the World Baseball Classic. Well, only one Angel was named to the rosters. Erick Aybar will be joining Jose Reyes and Miguel Tejada at shortstop for the Dominican Republic. It’s not surprising considering guys who are coming off injury (Albert Pujols) or being young and not going through a full camp (Mike Trout). Here’s how it can help the Angels for the regular season and how it can help shape the roster.

Sep 20, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar (2) slides into third base in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels have a logjam of sorts in the competition for the utility infield spots. Thomas Field, Brendan Harris, Luis Rodriguez and Andrew Romine are all in competition for the spot. Is it an important spot? Well, if anything should happen to any of the Angels’ infielders, the utility guy is the next man up. You never know when your number is going to get called.

Aybar being away is going to give all of those guys a chance to play more and get them more at-bats for the team to get a better look at them and make a better decision. Granted, Aybar is only gone as long as the Dominican Republic is active in the tournament, however, with the talent they have, it could be awhile.

Look for all four players to try and take advantage of their playing time to prove that they deserve a spot on the team. Even if they don’t stick with the Angels, you never know who is watching.