USA unveils initial WBC roster
DURHAM, N.C. -- Outfielders Ryan Braun of Milwaukee, Giancarlo Stanton of Miami and Adam Jones of Baltimore and Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey headline the United States' provisional roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
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USA Baseball is allowed up to 28 players on the provisional roster and has 27. The roster can change due to injuries, etc., but each country's federation must submit a final 28-man roster, including a minimum of 13 pitchers and two catchers, by Feb. 20. Team USA's roster, by position, is as follows:
Pitchers: Dickey, Toronto; Derek Holland, Texas; Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen, Atlanta; Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland; Glen Perkins, Minnesota; Ryan Vogelsong and Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco; Heath Bell, Arizona; Mitchell Boggs, St. Louis; Steve Cishek, Miami; Tim Collins, Kansas City; Luke Gregerson, San Diego.
Outfielders: Braun; Stanton; Jones; Shane Victorino, Boston.
"Having talked to all of these players I sense a great deal of excitement about representing the United States in the World Baseball Classic," Team USA manager Joe Torre said. "I share their excitement and look forward to managing this talented group in March."
Torre's coaching staff for the WBC includes Larry Bowa (bench), Marcel Lachemann (bullpen/pitching), Greg Maddux (pitching), Dale Murphy (first base), Gerald Perry (hitting) and Willie Randolph (third base).
Team USA will play its first-round games as part of Pool D at Chase Field in Phoenix from March 8-10. Canada, Mexico and Italy also are in Pool D.
Venezuela's roster features 11 MLB All-Stars, including Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of Detroit, World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval of San Francisco, and 2010 Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez of Seattle.
The pitching staff also includes the Tigers' Anibal Sanchez, the Marlins' Henderson Alvarez, the Dodgers' Ronald Belisario, the Giants' Jose Mijares, and free agents Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Zambrano.
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and catcher Ramon Hernandez, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, Indians shortop Asdrubal Cabrera, Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and outfielder Gerardo Parra, Royals catcher Salvador Perez and Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro are also on the team.
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The Dominican Republic has a solid infield that includes Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Dodgers third baseman Hanley Ramirez, Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes, Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, and Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.
The Dominicans only have three outfielders on the roster: the Blue Jays' Melky Cabrera, the Rangers' Nelson Cruz, and the Brewers' Carlos Gomez. The catchers are the Indians' Carlos Santana, and free agent Miguel Olivo.
The pitching staff is made up of the Tigers' Octavio Dotel, the Padres' Edinson Volquez, the Rays' Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney, the A's Pedro Figueroa, the Royals' Kelvin Herrera, the Giants' Santiago Casilla, the Pirates' Wandy Rodriguez, the Blue Jays' Esmil Rogers and the Orioles' Pedro Strop.
Alexi Ogando is listed on the roster but told the Rangers he will not pitch in the WBC.
The only Dominican player who isn't currently on a 40-man major league roster is Royals minor leaguer Miguel Tejada.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols plans on representing the Dominican Republic if his surgically repaired knee is healthy, his agent told MLB.com, but he was not listed on the preliminary roster.
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau and Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie will star for Canada, along with Pirates catcher Russell Martin, Brewers pitcher John Axford, Phillies pitcher Phillippe Aumont, White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain, Phillies outfielder Tyson Gillies, Brewers second baseman Taylor Green, Brewers pitcher Jim Henderson, Pirates pitcher Chris Leroux, and Mariners outfielder Mike Saunders.
Mexico is led by Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and the pitching staff includes the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada, Seattle's Oliver Perez, the Giants' Sergio Romo, the Cardinals' Fernando Salas, Boston's Alfredo Aceves, the Orioles' Alfredo Amezaga and Mike Gonzalez, the Diamondbacks' David Hernandez and the Royals' Luis Mendoza.
Puerto Rico's roster includes Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Yadier Molina, Indians shortstop Mike Aviles, Brewers pitcher Hiram Burgos, Angels pitcher Fernando Cabrera, Astros pitcher Xavier Cedeno, Pirates second baseman Ivan De Jesus, Royals second baseman Irving Falu, Diamondbacks pitcher Nelson Figueroa, White Sox third baseman Andy Gonzalez, Giants pitcher Javier Lopez and outfielder Angel Pagan, Rays catcher Jose Molina, White Sox outfielder Alex Rios and White Sox pitcher Hector Santiago.
Italy is led by Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Padres outfilder Chris Denorfia, Pirates pitcher Jason Grilli, Dodgers infielder Nick Punto, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Brewers shortstop Jeff Bianchi, and Twins catcher Drew Butera.
The Netherlands has four major leaugers on its team, and three of them are shortstops: the Rangers' Jurickson Profar, the Orioles' Jonathan Schoop, and the Braves' Andrelton Simmons. Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina is also on the squad.
Chinese Taipei included free agent pitchers Hung-Chih Kuo and Ching-Ming Wang, as well as Astros pitcher Chia-Jen Lo on its roster.
Brazil features White Sox pitching prospect Andre Rienzo.
The Royals' Bruce Chen will pitch for China after pitching for Panama in the previous Classic.
Japan has an all-domestic squad that includes former major leaguer Kaz Matsui.