Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brandon Phillips to represent USA in upcoming World Baseball Classic

On Thursday, the United States revealed its roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. It had been rumored for a while that Brandon Phillips' name might be on it. Well, it turns out that it was.

Phillips is one of 27 players who comprised the preliminary roster released by Team USA.

Phillips, 31, is likely slotted to be the starting second basemen on the national squad. He is a 2-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glover, and a recipient of a Silver Slugger Award, as well.

The colorful Georgia native batted .281/.321/.429 with 18 homers and 77 RBI in 2012. He is a career .273 hitter and is revered as one of the best defensive second basemen in the modern game.

Former Reds Willie Bloomquist and Jeremy Affeldt will also represent America.

USA Baseball is allowed up to 28 players on the provisional roster and has 27. The roster can change due to injuries, etc., but each country's federation must submit a final 28-man roster, including a minimum of 13 pitchers and two catchers, by Feb. 20.

You can view the entire roster by clicking here.

Team USA will play its first-round games as part of Pool D at Chase Field in Phoenix from March 8-10. Canada, Mexico and Italy also are in Pool D.

The United States has failed to advance to the semifinals in the two previous Classics (2006, 2009). That is simply unacceptable for a country who calls baseball its "national pastime". Hopefully the boys fare better this time around.

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