Thursday, February 16, 2006

World Baseball Classic
Pool B


CF Aaron Guiel (Royals)
2B Pete Orr (Braves)
LF Jason Bay (Pirates)
1B Justin Morneau (Twins)
3B Cory Koskie (Blue Jays)
DH Matt Stairs (Royals)
RF Adam Stern (Red Sox)
SS Danny Klassen (Astros)
C Pete LaForest (Devil Rays)

C Russell Martin
C Max St. Pierre
SS Kevin Nicholson
IF Scott Thorman (Braves)
RF Ryan Radmanovich
UT Stubby Clapp (Cardinals)

Canada's final 30-man roster has been set, so this is it. The top of the lineup is rather Gammonsesque. Guiel has some Major League experience. Orr got a lot of experience filling in for an injured Marcus Giles. Bay is a star, and if all things work out Morneau will be too someday (but not yet). At the bottom of the lineup, Koskie and Stairs are established stars. There's not much on the bench, although Clapp has had his cups of coffee in the bigs.

SP Erik Bedard (Orioles)
SP Jeff Francis (Rockies)
SP Adam Loewen (Orioles)
SP Chris Begg (Giants)
SP Aaron Myette (Reds)
SP Eric Cyr (Angels)
SP Scott Mathieson (Phillies)

RP Rheal Cormier (Phillies)
RP Jesse Crain (Twins)
RP Mike Meyers (Red Sox)
RP Paul Quantrill (Yankees)
RP Chris Reitsma (Braves)
RP Steve Green (Tigers)

The rotation is very Gammonsesque. Bedard broke out last year. Francis is your token "talented pitcher who would do very well if only he could get out of Colorado." Loewen is one of the top prospects in the game. The bullpen is solid and experienced, with the likes of Cormier, Meyers, Quantrill, and Reitsma. Crain is yet another Twins reliever who has the stuff to be a closer someday.


2B Juan Castro (Twins)
SS Alfredo Amezaga (Pirates)
DH Jorge Cantu (Devil Rays)
1B Erubiel Durazo (Athletics)
LF Karim Garcia
3B Vinny Castilla (Nationals)
CF Luis Garcia
C Miguel Ojeda (Padres)
RF Matias Carrillo (Marlins)

C Adan Amezcua
C Humberto Cota (Pirates)
C Geronimo Gil (Orioles)
C Adan Munoz (Braves)
C Noe Munoz
C Jorge Vazquez
IF Alfredo Aceves
SS Luis Cruz (Padres)
IF Luis A. Garcia
IF Carlos Gastelum
UT Benji Gil (Mets)
IF Heber Gomez
1B Adrian Gonzalez (Padres)
IF Ramon Orantes
IF Pablo Ortego
IF Javier Robles
2B Oscar Robles (Dodgers)
IF Flavio Romero
IF Jose Sandoval
IF Carlos Sievers
IF Joakim Soria (Dodgers)
IF Carlos Valencia
OF Victor Bojorquez
OF Edgar Quintero (Angels)
LF Mario Valenzuela

Mexico has a couple options here. Castro had a career resurgance in Minnesota last year, so he deserves to be in the lineup. But Cantu broke out last year, and could become one of the top second basemen on the market. If you move Cantu to second (his natural position), you can move Castro to short (or leave Amezaga in), put Durazo at DH (where he's played the past few years) and put (former) super-prospect Adrian Gonzalez at first. Castro, Amezaga, and Benji Gil are all utility infielders, so the Mexican squad has some options. Matias Carrillo has made it to the majors with Florida, but Mario Valenzuela is said to be talented as well. Geronimo Gil has started at the top level in the past. So, in a nutshell, this team is deep in the field.

SP Esteban Loiaza (Nationals)
SP Oliver Perez (Pirates)
SP Rodrigo Lopez (Orioles)
SP Elmer Dessens (Dodgers)
SP Jose Silva
SP Sergio Mitre (Marlins)
SP Francisco Campos (White Sox)

RP Luis Ayala (Nationals)
RP Dennys Reyes (Padres)
RP Ricardo Rincon (Cardinals)
RP Antonio Osuna (Nationals)
RP Edgar Gonzalez (Diamondbacks)
RP David Cortes (Rockies)
RP Rigo Beltran
RP Jorge De La Rosa (Brewers)
RP Victor Alvarez
RP Alejandro Armenta
RP Edgar Huerta (Padres)
RP Isidro Marquez
RP Roberto Ramirez
RP Oscar Rivera

This is a very solid pitching staff. Loiaza had a great 2005. Lopez had an off year, but he's another great young talent out of Baltimore. Mexico doesn't have a dominant closer, but they do have more than their fair share of quality veteran setup men.

South Africa

C Willem Kemp
1B Nick Dempsey
2B Paul Bell (Brewers)
3B Jonathan Phillips (Brewers)
SS Brett Willemberg
LF Ian Butcher
CF Jason Cook
RF Kalin Dreyer
DH Glen Joseph (Reds)

C Kyle Botha
C Bradley Erasmus
C Warren Herman
IF Dylan Haynes
IF Zaid Hendricks
IF Glen Joseph (Reds)
IF Brendon Mitchell
IF Gavin Ray
2B Paul Rutgers (Twins)
IF Ricardo Siljeur
IF Ricardo Vieira
OF Ian Butcher
OF Kalin Dreye
OF Shannon Ekermans
OF Duane Feldtman
OF Marvin Jonathan
OF Patrick Naude
OF Ashley Scott

There are a few guys in Major League organizations right now, but most of these players belong on Dave's "Guys I've Never Heard Of" list.

SP Barry Armitage (Royals)
SP Bruce McCleland (Royals)
SP Tyrone Lamont (Mariners)
SP Carl Michaels (Brewers)

Donavon Hendricks (Braves)
RP Darryn Smith
RP Tyrone Brandt
RP Matthew Dancer
RP Jared Elario
RP Lester Fortiun
RP Gavin Jeffries
RP Gary Maree
RP Jacobus Mostert
RP Nolan Schipper
RP Kevin Townend
RP Robert Verschuren

More of the same. Oddly enough, has most of South Africa's pitchers listed as infielders. Either they're all very athletic, or someone has messed up. Other than that, I can't tell you much.


LF Johnny Damon (Yankees)
SS Derek Jeter (Yankees)
DH Mark Teixeira (Rangers)
3B Alex Rodriguez (Yankees)
1B Derrek Lee (Cubs)
CF Ken Griffey, Jr. (Reds)
RF Vernon Wells (Blue Jays)
C Jason Varitek (Red Sox)
2B Michael Young (Rangers)

C Michael Barrett
C Brian Schneider
3B Chipper Jones
2B Chase Utley
RF Jeff Francoeur (Braves)
LF Matt Holliday (Rockies)
OF Randy Winn (Giants)

The final US roster is also set. This is how I'd order the nine probable starters. Now, allow me to tell you the order I'd use if I was fully in charge: 1 Young SS 2 Utley 2B 3 Lee 1B 4 Teixeira 3B 5 Wells CF 6 Jones DH 7 Francoeur RF 8 Varitek C 9 Damon LF. In both cases the 9th hitter plays "second leadoff." Teixeira played 3B in college, so I'll put him there to save Jones' legs. In the "real" lineup, Damon, Griffey, A-Rod, and Jeter, and Varitek's positions in the field are set. I'm simply assuming the rest. Either way, they could do better, but certainly nothing to complain about. (I'd love to see Travis Hafner out there, but since he and Teixeira are both lefties, Teixeira is the better pick for his versatility in the field.) Perhaps another power bat in the outfield would be nice. But, in a pinch, Jones, and even Teixeira, can play the OF.

SP Jake Peavy (Padres)
SP Dontrelle Willis (Marlins)
SP Roger Clemens (Astros)
SP CC Sabathia (Indians)

Billy Wagner (Mets)
Brad Lidge (Astros)
Joe Nathan (Twins)
Huston Street (Athletics)
Chad Cordero (Nationals)
Todd Jones (Marlins)
Mike Timlin (Red Sox)
Scot Shields (Angels)
Brian Fuentes (Rockies)
Dan Wheeler (Astros)

I'd take this staff any day. The US is going with a 4-man rotation and a 10-man bullpen to save arms. I have no idea what Todd Jones is doing on this roster, but he does get the job done more often than not. The rotation looks good with two lefties and two righties. Even if the starters only go 3 innings per game, there's more than enough in the bullpen to finish the job.