NY Fan Hub Sports Writer
The preliminary USA roster for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) that will take place next month has been revealed. The New York teams each have one representative, as the Yankees will send Mark Teixeira and the Mets send David Wright. Both players are projected to start at their position, but many substitutions take place, to keep players fresh and to help prevent injuries. Former Yankees manager Joe Torre, will look to take this tournament down, as the USA has failed to do so the past 2 events. Japan, the 2-time defending champions, will not have Yankees OF, Ichiro Suzuki (former captain of Team Japan) and starting pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda. Both have decided their time playing international baseball has passed.
The Yankees won’t mind “Tex” playing, as he has stayed relatively healthy over his career and has played in this tournament before. Tex is known for his outstanding glove on the field and power from both sides of the plate. The Yankees have seen his batting average dip to .240 the past 2 years, but his homerun totals average to about 40 per year. Teixeira is a player who makes the infielders more comfortable, knowing any errant throw can be saved by Tex’s fielding ability. He is a player that makes everyone around him better. Tex will likely bat towards the bottom of the lineup, as team USA is stacked with great hitters.
The New York Mets send star 3rd basemen David Wright to the WBC for the 2nd time in a row. Wright was critical in the advancement of Team USA last time around and will look to have a bigger impact this year. Wright is coming off a year where he finished 6th in the NL MVP race, hitting over .300, while driving 21 homeruns (in a very big ball park) and having 93 RBI’s. David Wright is the face of the franchise for the Mets and has had some injury problems in the past; the Mets cannot afford to have him get injured. Wright should be the starting 3rd basement and hit towards the middle of the order, where he hits for the Mets. He will be key to Team USA, as they progress further into the tournament.
Each team is allowed 28 players and must send in a final roster on Feb. 20th. Teams must include at least 13 pitchers and have 2 catchers or more. Stay tuned for other Mets and/or Yankees on international teams, as those rosters come out soon.