WBC Roster Analysis: Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic, like the USA and Venezuela, has yet to live up to it’s baseball pedigree when it comes to the WBC. They went down in the semifinals in 2006, and were embarrassed by the Netherlands twice in 2009. Can they do better this time around?

Well, that remains to be seen. For one thing, the roster for Team DR that was released is only 23-men strong, probably due to the fact some players (most notably Albert Pujols) are still of an uncertain status due to various issues, such as insurance clearance. For another, they will be in a group of death, as Pool C also has Venezuela, Puerto Rico and (to a much, much lesser degree) Spain.

So, how’s it look? Go after the jump to find out:

Face of the team: Either Hanley Ramirez or Jose Reyes, unless Pujols gets his insurance issues out of the way and is able to play.

Strengths: Like Team USA, the Dominicans have a lot of diversity and depth to their roster. They have sluggers, they have pure hit-for-average guys, they have speedy players, etc. They have both youthful players and seasoned veterans like Miguel Tejada. This is especially true for the lineup.

Weaknesses: …But the starting rotation is a bit less amazing. While Edinson Volquez is playing, the starting rotation for the Dominicans could be better, and is hurt by the fact that Johnny Cueto- at least of of now- isn’t on the roster. The bullpen looks a bit better, with Fernando Rodney acting as it’s anchor, but the starting pitching is definitely a concern.

Who to watch: Although it will be interesting to see Melky Cabrera for the first time since his suspension, the player to watch is instead Jose Reyes, because he’s, well, Jose Reyes.

Outlook: Good but perilous. The starting pitching deficit could doom the Dominican, especially in their tough group. However, their lineup and good back-of-the-bullpen should make them one of the tournament favorites. That said, I’d feel a lot better with them if they get some more top names to join once insurance problems are dealt with.

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4 thoughts on “WBC Roster Analysis: Dominican Republic

  1. Enrique Rojas from ESPNDeportes reported that Bartolo Colon is the 24th player on the roster. A rotation of Cueto-Colon-Rodriguez-Volquez would not be THAT Bad… furthermore you said that the pen was just a “bit” better… are you kidding me? the DR has the second best bullpen of the tournament after the US… Rodney, Casilla, Herrera, Dotel, Peralta, Strop… If an MLB team had had that pen last year, it would have been the best pen in the MLB.

  2. The Dominicans need to focus and play serious ball. Their lack of runs against the Netherlands in 09 was inexcusable. Starting pitching doesn’t worry me cause of the pitch limits. It will really come down to middle relief. To me the best team in this group is Venezuela. PR is a question mark but they are playing in front of there home town. PR is 3rd in overall standings 8-4 only bested by South Korea and Japan. “IF” DR plays with a chip on their shoulder they can take it all!

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