2013 World Baseball Classic Rosters Finalized

Is This Finally Team USA’s Year?

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The finalized rosters for all 16 teams competing in this year’s World Baseball Classic were released late Thursday night.

Is this the year the United States finally proves itself the dominant baseball power of the world? The U.S. wasn’t able to make it to beyond the semifinals in either of the previous two installments of the World Baseball Classic. But this year manager Joe Torre has put together a roster brimming with talent both at the plate and on the mound. Let’s take a look at Team USA”s 28-man roster.

Pitchers

Jeremy Affeldt 41 L-L 6’4″ 225 Jun 6, 1979
Heath Bell 21 R-R 6’2″ 260 Sep 29, 1977
Mitchell Boggs 41 R-R 6’4″ 215 Feb 15, 1984
Steve Cishek 31 R-R 6’6″ 215 Jun 18, 1986
Tim Collins 55 L-L 5’7″ 165 Aug 21, 1989
Ross Detwiler R-L 6’5″ 190 Mar 6, 1986
R.A. Dickey 43 R-R 6’2″ 215 Oct 29, 1974
Gio Gonzalez R-L 6’0″ 200 Sep 19, 1985
Luke Gregerson 57 L-R 6’3″ 200 May 14, 1984
Derek Holland 45 S-L 6’2″ 210 Oct 9, 1986
Craig Kimbrel 46 R-R 5’11” 205 May 28, 1988
Chris Perez 54 R-R 6’4″ 230 Jul 1, 1985
Glen Perkins 15 L-L 6’0″ 205 Mar 2, 1983
Vinnie Pestano 52 R-R 6’0″ 200 Feb 20, 1985
Ryan Vogelsong 32 R-R 6’4″ 215 Jul 22, 1977

Catchers

J.P. Arencibia 9 R-R 6’0″ 205 Jan 5, 1986
Jonathan Lucroy 20 R-R 6’0″ 195 Jun 13, 1986
Joe Mauer 7 L-R 6’5″ 230 Apr 19, 1983

Infielders

Willie Bloomquist 18 R-R 5’11” 185 Nov 27, 1977
Brandon Phillips 4 R-R 6’0″ 200 Jun 28, 1981
Jimmy Rollins 11 S-R 5’8″ 180 Nov 27, 1978
Mark Teixeira 25 S-R 6’3″ 215 Apr 11, 1980
David Wright 5 R-R 6’0″ 210 Dec 20, 1982
Ben Zobrist 18 S-R 6’3″ 210 May 26, 1981

Outfielders

Ryan Braun 8 R-R 6’1″ 200 Nov 17, 1983
Adam Jones 10 R-R 6’3″ 225 Aug 1, 1985
Giancarlo Stanton 27 R-R 6’5″ 245 Nov 8, 1989
Shane Victorino 18 S-R 5’9″ 190 Nov 30, 1980

Coaching Staff

Joe Torre Manager
Gerald Perry Batting Coach
Greg Maddux Pitching Coach
Dale Murphy First Base Coach
Willie Randolph Third Base Coach
Larry Bowa Bench Coach
Marcel Lachemann Coach

The projected starting infield for Team USA will feature Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Mets third baseman David Wright. Joe Mauer will likely get the nod at catcher. The Twins veteran is a former AL MVP.

Manning the outfield will be Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, and Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. WIllie Bloomquist of the Diamondbacks and Ben Zobrist of the Rays are two versatile utility players who can man virtually any position in the field besides catcher and hold their own at the dish.

The squad boasts a deep 10-man pitching staff to boot. Making up the starting rotation are knuckleballer R.A. Dickey of the Blue Jays, World Series champion Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants, and three hard-throwing left handers – Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler of the Nationals, and Derek Holland of the Rangers.

Bookending the staff is Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves, arguably the best closer in the big leagues. He will be supported by two other top flight closers in Chris Perez of the Indians and Steve Cishek of the Marlins.

Team USA’s star power isn’t just limited to the field. There will be plenty of big names occupying the dugout as well, headlined by future hall of famer Joe Torre, who is coming out of retirement to manage the team. He will be joined by former star players and big league managers on his staff.

Team USA is favored to win the tournament at 5/2, but the U.S. isn’t the only team steeped with major league talent. The entire Dominican Republic roster, except for one, is made up of current big leaguers. And the one – former Tigers closer Jose Valverde – is a sure thing to be on a roster before the end of Spring. The Dominican Republic checks in at No. 2, with 13/4 odds to win it all. Some featured names that will appear in the Dominican lineup include Nelson Cruz, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Robinson Cano, Erick Aybar, Carlos Santana, Fernando Rodney, Wandy Rodriguez and Edinson Volquez.

All of that recognizable talent does not necessarily equate to success, especially in a format like the WBC. Team Japan, winners of each of the last two tournaments, does not boast a single major league player on its roster, yet they are still ranked No. 3 in the world and also carry 7/2 odds to win the WBC.

Canada has steadily improved in now its third World Baseball Classic. Currently at 18/1, the big question surrounding Team Canada is whether or not Reds first baseman Joey Votto is going to play. Votto and Team Canada are taking a wait and see approach to do make sure each are going what’s best for the player and the Reds. Votto missed significant time last season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, and the plan is to see how he performs and feels during spring games before making a decision on his participation with the national team. But even without Votto, 12 major league players have signed up to play for Team Canada, including Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, Pirates catcher Russell Martin and Brewers closer Jonathan Axford.

You can check out all 16 rosters by visiting the official website for the World Baseball Classic and clicking on “Teams”. All 39 WBC games will be broadcast on the MLB Network, beginning with Round 1 pool play on March 2. Seeds All Day will offer predictions on which teams will advance from each pool as the competition nears.

About Matthew George

Matthew George graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2008 with a bachelor of science in journalism. He spent three years writing sports for the Kentucky Kernel, the university's daily paper, and served as assistant sports editor. After undergrad, Matthew attended Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University where he earned his juris doctorate. He is now admitted to practice law in Kentucky and Indiana.

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