The United States’ roster for the World Baseball Classic was announced today.
Mark Teixeira of the Yankees and David Wright of the Mets are the two New York players on the roster.
Here is the US team’s starting lineup and rotation:
C – Joe Mauer
1B – Teixeira
2B – Brandon Phillips
SS – Jimmy Rollins
3B – Wright
LF – Ryan Braun
CF – Adam Jones
RF – Giancarlo Stanton
SP1 – R.A. Dickey
SP2 – Ryan Vogelsong
SP3 – Derek Holland
SP4 – Kris Medlen
Craig Kimbrel, Heath Bell and Chris Perez are the late-inning relievers. Ben Zobrist, Shane Victorino and J.P. Arencibia are the key guys on the bench. The US can name one additional pitcher to the team. Justin Verlander is one possibility, but that depends on how he feels over the next few weeks.
Joe Torre will manage the squad. The rosters of the other 15 teams in the tournament will be released today at 4 p.m. on MLB.com
The World Baseball Classic begins on March 2 with pool play in Japan and Taiwan. Later rounds begin in Arizona and Puerto Rico on March 7. The US team plays its first game on March 8 against Mexico in Phoenix. Italy and Canada are also in the pool.
The second round begins on March 12. Games will be played in Miami and Tokyo.
The championship round – which features four teams and three games in single-elimination style – begins at AT&T Park in San Francisco on March 17.
(Update, 4:51 p.m.): Mike Aviles, a Middletown High grad, has been added to the Puerto Rico roster. Aviles, a utility infielder, is currently with the Cleveland Indians. He was traded from Boston to Toronto in the offseason, with Toronto later flipping him to Cleveland.
The other big baseball story of the day – so far – is that catcher/first baseman/DH Mike Napoli finally agreed to a deal with the Red Sox. Napoli, however, agreed to $34 million less than he had originally hoped to get.
Napoli has a bum hip that came up in a physical after he had agreed in principle to a three-year, $39 million deal with Boston. After physical tests, the Red Sox were only willing to offer a one-year $5 million deal. With incentives, Napoli could still earn up to $13 in 2013.
Napoli did hit 24 home runs last year, but his .227 batting average and 56 RBI left something to be desired. He’ll probably play mostly at first base in the wake of the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
If he stays healthy, Napoli and the Green Monster might make that $5 contract look like a bargain.
Are you planning on following the World Baseball Classic? Are you disappointed that some of the game’s biggest starts – Jered Weaver, Andrew McCutcheon, CC Sabathia, etc. – have not elected to play for the US team? Let me know on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery.