Tuesday, December 4, 2012

WBC could be loaded with Nats

US Presswire photo
The third installment of the World Baseball Classic will be held in March.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A handful of prominent Nationals (Alfonso Soriano and Chad Cordero in 2006, Adam Dunn and Joel Hanrahan in 2009) participated in the first two installments of the World Baseball Classic, but the upcoming third installment of the international tournament could be loaded with players off Washington's roster.

So far, only outfielder Roger Bernadina (Netherlands) has committed to playing in the Classic, which will be held March 2-19. Plenty more could follow as rosters are assembled and announced in the coming month.

Team USA will unveil its roster on January 16, with no shortage of potential Nationals in the mix for spots.

Bryce Harper seems a logical choice for manager Joe Torre. So does Ian Desmond, whose chances will be boosted by the fact Derek Jeter is recovering from a broken ankle. Ryan Zimmerman could participate as well, though there are plenty of deserving third baseman including David Wright and Chase Headley.

And, of course, there are potentially a half-dozen members of the Nationals pitching staff who could receive consideration: starters Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler and relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard.

On the international front, the Venezuelan club certainly would love to have native son Wilson Ramos play for them, though the Nationals might be reluctant to let the young catcher go because he'll be in the final stages of rehab from a torn ACL.

52 comments:

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Selfishly, I'd hope all Nats stay in Viera.

peric said...

Strasburg Mark? There is a Senator from Hawaii named Inoye. How do you pronounce his name again? They aren't going to ramp Strasburg and Zimmerman up for the WBC. Might as well suggest Nate Karns, Matt Purke, or Sammy Solis? How about Lucas Giolito?

Maybe they let Gio and/or Detwiler go.

JD said...


Ghost,

I agree 100%. Didn't Luis Ayala derail his career by playing hurt in the WBC?

Faraz Shaikh said...

derailed his career? past two season combined, he has pitched 131 innings with 2.40 ERA. having said that, i am skeptical if nats allows SS and JZ to pitch in WBC. I would love to see them pitch on international level but I doubt it. Then again, rizzo did let SS pitch in ASG albeit just one inning.

peric said...

Then again, rizzo did let SS pitch in ASG albeit just one inning.

He was already ramped up and pitching every fifth day. No way Stras or JZim pitch in the WBC it just isn't worth the risk for the player or the team.

Maybe they send Yunesky Maya? He has some experience with the WBC.

JD said...


Faraz,

How many years did Ayala lose and how much money? How is his status now compared to what it was before the WBC injury?

Todd Boss said...

I posted about past and future Nats WBC participants at NationalsArmRace a couple weeks ago.
http://www.nationalsarmrace.com/?p=5110 . I count 6 nats on non-USA teams plus anywhere from 4-6 guys playing for the USA team.

There's also a blog out there who is doing significant WBC roster predicting; it makes for interesting reading. http://baseballcontinuum.wordpress.com/ if you're interested.

Todd Boss said...

On Maya; i'm pretty sure the Cuban team does not allow any defectors onto their team. He'd make a decent choice (as would the likes of Livan, Cespedes, Chapman, Contreras, Escobar, Viceido and a slew of other guys with Cuban ties). Braves managers Fredi Gonzalez was born there too. Too bad; I'd love to see a consolidated cuban team competing.

Faraz Shaikh said...

JD, I don't know about his status but his stats in 2008 were terrible too. I don't know if WBC cost him 2010. Besides Ayala pitched like 3-4 innings over eight days. I don't think that's enough to affect a reliever.

Don said...

Paying hurt at any time is a big risk for a player. But, let's be clear, Strasburg is not hurt. Pitching 15 innings in the WBC in March is not some wild risk for the guy. If he wants to represent his country in this -- it is in effect the Olympics/World Cup for baseball -- then they should let him do so.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Love the concept (a true world championship); not so keen on the notion that players from 'my' team might somehow be distracted from their preparation for the regular MLB season, hurt, or otherwise disadvantaged.

Theophilus T. S. said...

The WBC has a pitch count rule -- not sure whether it's 60 or 70 -- which mitigates concerns somewhat (at that point of ST, pitchers should be doing three innings per outing) -- but not much. I'd be in favor of Rodriguez pitching for Venezuela if I could count on him coming back on the 60-day DL, which seems to be the only way to keep him from screwing up the roster for a full season. (Who does he have pictures of?) I don't know how deep in the barrel the USA team will go but I'd let them experiment some more w/ Perry if they wanted to, maybe play Tyler Moore in LF. Otherwise, quarantine the whole team w/ some sort of flu bug.

Faraz Shaikh said...

eugene, a world championship format is only fun if all the eligible players get to play. i wouldn't be opposed to the idea of having WBC replace one post-season.

Kirbs said...

I am all for the position players playing (minus Ramos)....but please, please no pitchers!!!!!!!!!

Kirbs said...

I am all for the position players playing (minus Ramos)....but please, please no pitchers!!!!!!!!!

MicheleS said...

I can see Bryce and Ian playing. Nope to Ryan, injury recovery, needs to stay in Viera, same goes for Wilson. Not sure on the pitchers, I could see the relievers, but NO on the starters.

Theophilus T. S. said...

The risk of injury in ST is always present, just as it is in the WBC. However, in ST it is necessary and the WBC is less important than the NHL All-Star game (if there is one). Nobody gets better because they played in the WBC. The managers, coaches and trainers who know the quirks of individual players are out of the picture. Here we are talking about paying FAs multi-millions of dollars and then they go off to the WBC and purposelessly risk career-ending injuries? So the team can go out and spend more mega-millions on a replacement? Don't think so!

Minimally, there ought to be some limits on who can participate, maybe players w/ less than two accrued seasons in the majors, or more than 12. The U.S. doesn't need Gonzalez or any other Nats pitcher to sweep the Class A+ equivalents of most of the international teams.

Faraz Shaikh said...

to complete my thought from 10:31 AM, I meant one postseason out of every four years.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Upon further reconsideration, I see that Greg Maddux will be USA pitching coach. Maybe he can show Gonzalez where the strike zone is located.

MicheleS said...

And we have our Pitcher

Chase Hughes‏@chasehughes

Whoop there it is RT @Ken_Rosenthal Sources: Dan Haren in agreement with #Nationals, one year, $13M. Pending physical

Faraz Shaikh said...

Haren is here! Yay! I guess.

MicheleS said...

Hopefully that means the Back is okay. That was my only worry.

JD said...


Faraz,

Let me refresh your memory. Ayala pitched winter ball; came into the WBC hurt but was still used several days in a row. Lost almost 2 full years and returned as a middle reliever/mop up guy.

At his peak with the Nats he was a top notch set up guy.

The problem with the WBC vs. spring training is that in the WBC the managers are playing to win; in spring training the managers are building up arm strength and having the pitchers work on pitches/arm slots/grips etc. winning in spring training is irrelevant.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I think Bryce and Trout for Team USA would be huge for the team. Definitely no pitchers.

Faraz Shaikh said...

JD, to be honest I don't remember Ayala's 2009 all that well. I am trying to erase that whole season expect one summer day from my memory.

I understand the risk with pitching in WBC. it is just would be so exciting to see Nats players dominate on international level.

JD said...


This is a great risk/reward situation. When Healthy Haren is a solid no.2 and since this is only for 1 year the risk is well worth it.

MichelleS,

I think the Nats will walk away if the physical isn't what they are hoping for.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Rumors are that Espi could be in a 3 way trade for a team to get JUpton. Rangers are dangling their #2 prospect in Olt. He is a RH 1st baseman. Not sure that makes any sense.

MicheleS said...

JD. Completely AGREE! I just don't like balky backs on a Picther (I hate balky shoulders more). So if we can get assurances on the back this is a huge coup for Rizzo.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Isn't Haren right-handed? LOL

Faraz Shaikh said...

that's an interesting rumor GoSM. If we are getting only a prospect in Olt, I am not sure we should do it. I am guessing Espi goes to DBacks since Rangers don't want to part with profar or andrus.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

If Haren doesn't work out, there will be opportunities at July 31st.

phil dunton said...

The WBC, a brain child of Sleaze Selig, is very dangerous for players, especially pitchers.

MicheleS said...

Ghost, weird rumor, indeed, what would we need another RH 1B for we have Morse and Moore. Unless Olt is gold glove, then NOPE, keep what we have.

Don said...

Dan Haren going to play in the WBC?

Theophilus T. S. said...

Olt means both Morse and LaRoche go so there can be a competition w/ Moore to see who plays 1st? I don't think so.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, I think the Nats need to stock the farm system with pitchers as they give the most versatility.

I think Espi and Morse are on many shopping lists and it doesn't mean they will be traded but now is the time if Rizzo is going to do it.

Tcostant said...

It is done, Haren is a Nat.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/04/nationals-sign-dan-haren-to-one-year-13-million-contract/

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

As I recall, the Nats were unhappy with Team Mexico for over-using Ayala when they knew he had been hurt, costing him his "day job."

Is Vinny still coaching Mexico, btw?

JD said...


MichelleS,

Olt is really a 3rd baseman who the Rangers put at 1st base because they have Beltre. He destroyed minor league pitching but he hits right handed and is 24 years old so I son't really see the fit but what do I know?

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

And I believe the senator pronounces his name "IN-oh-ay." FWIW. Some of the MSM do pronounce it "In-OH-ay."

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, Texas was trying to get Andrelton Simmons in a 3 team trade deal for JUpton and the Braves said no. Now they are inquiring on Espi. I'd say lukewarm and Texas has nobody the Nats want.

Faraz Shaikh said...

anyone loves the fact that no rumors regarding nats deal? straight up final news we hear that nats trade for span or nats sign haren.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Haren also means people can stop floating stoopid mortgage-the-future-for-two years deals w/ Tampa.

MicheleS said...

Thanks Ghost/JD. Unless there is some developing pitching prospects (like multiple and close to MLB ready), I wouldn't be shipping Espi or Morse off too fast.

blovy8 said...

Haren is a great fit. Much better than trading for Shields I think, since it's only money and they're roughly comparable in value.

JD said...


Haren is really a great move. I think he's a better pitcher than most of the free agents out there; if there were no questions about his back he would get 3 - 4 years at $45 - $60 mil.

The next items to resolve are ALR and MM.

Almost ready to play ball.

MicheleS said...

new post

Feel Wood said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Faraz, I think the Nats need to stock the farm system with pitchers as they give the most versatility.

I think Espi and Morse are on many shopping lists and it doesn't mean they will be traded but now is the time if Rizzo is going to do it.


The Nats may need to replenish their farm system but there's no way they are trading two MLB starters or even one (Espi and/or Morse) to do it.


JD said...


blovy8

If healthy Haren is definitely in that league.

Faraz,

You are exactly right; Rizzo sure knows how to play this game. No rumors, no leaks.

Clip&Store said...

(i)
Upon further reconsideration, I see that Greg Maddux will be USA pitching coach. Maybe he can show Gonzalez where the strike zone is located.
(/i)

Hahhaha hurry send Gio to the WBC!

Rabbit34 said...

The Baseball Classic. Lots of opportunity for our players to get injured. I HATE those game.

natsfan1a said...

I'm with Ghost, Rabbit, and others. I'd (selfishly, I suppose) rather that our guys weren't in it.

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