KC Royals lefty reliever Tim Collins was named to the Team USA roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic in March. It was announced live on MLB Network at 10am ET.
This will not be Collins‘ first go-round with Team USA. He was a member of the 2010 Pan American team that lost just one game, to the Dominican Republic in their final game. In five games (seven innings), he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out six. The runs were given up in the loss to the DR.
Collins is one of four lefties on the team, with Jeremy Affeldt (SF), Derek Holland (Texas), and Glen Perkins (Minnesota). The rest of the pitching staff is as follows: Heath Bell (Arizona), Mitchell Boggs (St. Louis), Steve Cishek (Miami), RA Dickey (Toronto), Luke Gregerson (SD), Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen (Atlanta), Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez (Cleveland), Andy Pettitte (NY Yankees), and Ryan Vogelsong (SF). Supposedly, the US has a starting spot open and are leaving it for Justin Verlander.
There are not a ton of big names on the pitching staff (because they all turned it down), but there are some passionate back end of the bullpen guys that will be fun to watch (Collins included).
The catching staff includes Joe Mauer (Minnesota), Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee), and JP Arencibia (Toronto). Arencibia has been working with knuckleballer Dickey in Nashville this offseason.
The infield is a veteran group, with Mark Teixeira (NY Yankees), Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati), Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia), and David Wright (NY Mets) expected to start. The expected starting outfield has a little more youth with Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Adam Jones (Baltimore), and Giancarlo Stanton (Miami).
The bench will include super-utility guys Willie Bloomquist (Arizona) and Ben Zobrist (TB). Shane Victorino (Boston) was a member of the 2009 team and is pumped to be back.
The entire team will gather at Salt River Fields on March 1st. Their first game will be against Mexico on March 8th. They will play Italy the following night, and then Canada on Sunday afternoon (March 10th).
The rest of the countries’ rosters will be announced at 4pm ET today, as MLB Network will have an hour long show focused on the WBC. For more on the WBC, click HERE.