It’s time for another round of WBC projections for Team USA! Like last time, players who have been absolutely super-confirmed to be playing are in italics. I note the changes from last time where applicable.
A refresher on my selection rules/assumptions:
- 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.
Go after the jump for the projections:
Manager: Joe Torre
Bench Coach: Larry Bowa
Bullpen Coach: Marcel Lachemann
Hitting Coach: Gerald Perry
Third-Base Coach: Willie Randolph
First-Base Coach: Dale Murphy
Pitching Coach: Greg Maddux
This remains unchanged. Mauer is definitely in. Posey has said he would consider. I haven’t read anything either way on Matt Wieters yet. A good thing about Mauer and Posey is that they can also play first if need be.
Adam LaRoche would have been in instead of Konerko, but he still hasn’t signed anywhere, so for now I’m not putting him in yet. There are rumblings that Mark Teixeira will be approached, and Prince Fielder is still a possibility, but I’m sticking with these two until something else is revealed, especially with LaRoche.
This remains unchanged, although if Pedroia doesn’t play due to any lingering problems from his finger surgery, I think Jason Kipnis could be a good one to play.
Third Basemen: David Wright
Unchanged. Wright has been confirmed.
During his press conference with the Red Sox, Victorino mentioned he planned on participating with Team USA. So I’ve had him replace Curtis Granderson. Granderson, along with guys like Adam Jones and Andrew McCutcheon, are still on deck if Stanton, Trout or Braun drop out.
Utility: Ben Zobrist
Jim Johnson dropped out. Joel Hanrahan was traded to the Red Sox, and so is unlikely to take part. Replacing them on this list are Nate Jones of the White Sox and veteran lefty specialist Darren Oliver, who did very well with the Blue Jays last season. Oliver is considering retirement, but he’d be neither the first nor the last to play in the WBC right before retiring (or deciding not to retire).
Later today (or maybe early tomorrow): An updated projection of the Dominican Republic roster.