Sat, Jan 19, 2013 - Page 19 News List

US announces roster for World Baseball Classic

Reuters and AFP

The National League Cy Young Award winner, three MVP award winners and a host of Major League Baseball All-Stars were on the US’ provisional roster announced on Thursday for the World Baseball Classic.

Formal rosters are to be be set on Feb. 20 for the March tournament, where Japan will go for their third successive Classic crown.

Four players return from the 2009 US team which lost in the semi-finals to Japan — Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (2007 National League MVP), Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (2011 National League MVP) and Mets third baseman David Wright.

Other position players include first baseman Mark Teixeira (Yankees), second baseman Brandon Phillips (Reds), catcher Joe Mauer (Twins, 2009 American League MVP), and outfielders Adam Jones (Orioles) and Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins).

Knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey, the reigning National League Cy Young winner who was traded in the off-season from the Mets to the Blue Jays, will anchor a starting staff that also includes Ryan Vogelsong of World Series champions the Giants, Derek Holland of the Rangers and Kris Medlen of the Braves.

The bullpen includes closers Craig Kimbrel of the Braves and Chris Perez of the Indians.

The US have never reached the finals, losing in the second round in 2006 and in the semi-finals in 2009.

The team play their first game of on March 8 in Phoenix, Arizona, against Mexico. Canada and Italy are the other teams in Pool D.

Two-time champions Japan host Pool A games in Fukuoka from March 2 to March 6, Taichung hosts Pool B from March 2 to March 5, while Pool C games are being held from March 7 to March 10 in Puerto Rico. The semi-finals and finals are due to be staged in San Francisco from March 17 to March 19.

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