Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and
former MVPs Ryan Braun, Jimmy Rollins and Joe Mauer headline the United
States' provisional roster for this spring's World Baseball Classic.
Dickey, the knuckleballer who won the Cy Young in 2012 with the New York Mets
and was traded to Toronto last month, headlines an American starting pitching
staff that also includes Ryan Vogelsong of the World Series champion San
Francisco Giants, Atlanta's Kris Medlen and Derek Holland of Texas.
Other pitchers on the staff will include closers Heath Bell of Arizona and
Craig Kimbrel of Atlanta, as well as Cleveland's Chris Perez and Vinnie
Pestano, Luke Gregerson of San Diego, Glen Perkins of the Twins, Miami's Steve
Cishek, Tim Collins of Kansas City, Mitchell Boggs of St. Louis and Jeremy
Affeldt of San Francisco.
Braun, the 2011 NL MVP from Milwaukee, will be joined in the U.S. outfield by
All-Stars Adam Jones of Baltimore, Giancarlo Stanton of Miami and Shane
Victorino, now with Boston.
Rollins, NL MVP with Philadelphia in 2007, is the top shortstop for the U.S.
team and could headline a possible starting infield consisting of first
baseman Mark Teixeira of the Yankees, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon
Phillips and third baseman David Wright of the Mets.
Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist and Arizona's Willie Bloomquist will allow American
manager Joe Torre some flexibility as both can play in the outfield and
Mauer, the 2009 AL MVP from Minnesota, will head a catching trio that also
features Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy and Toronto's J.P. Arencibia.
"Having talked to all of these players, I sense a great deal of excitement
about representing the United States in the World Baseball Classic," said
Torre. "I share their excitement and look forward to managing this talented
group in March."
The team will start training in Scottsdale, Ariz. on March 1 and will begin
round-robin play in Pool D against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix on March
8. Canada and Italy are the other teams in the United States' bracket.
Team USA has not placed higher than fourth in the WBC, finishing sixth in the
inaugural event in 2006 and fourth in 2009.
The Sports Network