Late last night, the World Baseball Classic started with Chinese Taipei beating Australia 4-1. Today the action continues with Japan vs Brazil and Korea vs Netherlands. With the start of the WBC, Phillies camp is down some players, as they have 10 playing the international tournament.
Jimmy Rollins departs as the lone Phillie representative for Team USA. He had success in the last WBC and a decent season. Personally, I cannot figure out if this is good or bad. Hopefully it just is and he can get out all his usual slow start stuff over before the season actually starts.
Phillipe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, John Jay and my dad’s favorite utility man, Pete Orr, all head off for Team Canada. Aumont is the interesting one in this mix. He is pushing for a bullpen spot and very well might get it. I really want him to get it because I dream of the day that he closes a game that Cliff Lee started.
Catcher Tim Kennally has already reported and played in a WBC game for Team Australia.
Infielder Lucas Rojo is also already playing for Team Brazil.
Catcher Sebastian Valle and Rodrigo Lopez (yeah, I was also surprised to find that he was back with the Phillies as a Minor Leaguer) will be playing for Team Mexico. Valle will be fighting for time in AAA with Tommy Joseph. One of the two will be listed as the organizations 3rd string catcher.
Team Venezuela will claim pitcher Cesar Jimenez for the next few weeks.
On top of players reporting, Juan Samuel will be coaching for the Dominican Republic and Minor League Catching coordinator Ernie Whitt will be coaching Team Canada.