It’s time for another round of projections for the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic roster. Those that have already been confirmed fully by the World Baseball Classic organizers are italicized.
As usual, the rules I used in making this roster:
- Any player coming off a major injury or who has a history of injuries is unlikely to participate. This is especially true for the pitchers.
- Players that will be on new teams are less likely to participate, but shouldn’t be completely ignored, with the exception of pitchers.
- Teams are made up of 28 players, of which 13 of them must be pitchers and two of them catchers.
- The pitch count rules make relievers extremely important.
Manager: Tony Pena
David Ortiz, who is injured, probably won’t take part. Edwin Encarnacion is being put in for him. He was at the press conference announcing the Dominican’s coaching staff.
Second Basemen: Robinson Cano
He’s been confirmed, and he’ll probably be doing most of the work at 2nd, perhaps with Wilson Betemit filling in sometimes.
Ramirez could be at shortstop, too.
Reyes has been confirmed to be playing by the World Baseball Classic organizers, although in theory Toronto could try to make him pull out, since he’s new to the team.
Reports are that Alfonso Soriano may be traded. If that happens, it is far less likely that he’ll take part, and will be replaced by Starling Marte of the Pirates.
Utility: Wilson Betemit
Unchanged. A good utility-man is crucial in the WBC.
Santana attended the announcement about Pena becoming manager, so I’m presuming he’ll take part. I’ve replaced Felipe Paulino- who only had seven starts last season- with him.
Dotel and Strop are currently listed a “possibly/likely” on my list. The others’ status are not yet known.
So, basically, the changes from last time are this:
- Ortiz is out, Edwin Encarnacion is in.
- Paulino is out, Ervin Santana is in.
- Cano and Reyes have been confirmed.
Stay tuned for more, and remember that the WBC will be releasing some sort of roster (possibly the preliminaries) sometime this month (January).