Our week-long regional nightmare is over, as no Boston Red Sox pitchers, from the rotation or the bullpen, have joined Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. While there is no guarantee that pitching in the WBC could lead to injury, the chance does exist that someone might ramp up their workload a little quicker than they need to, and someone under contract with Boston might go all Daisuke Matsuzaka on them once more. The last thing the Sox need is to have that happen to them. Plus, these guys have enough work to do with their new manager and new pitching coach, anyway, and that should be reason enough to stick around.
This is coming from someone who adores the concept of the World Baseball Classic, too. Priority should sit with the player's team, so if there are any legitimate reasons to stay around for spring training, they should be invoked.
MLB's official Twitter account unveiled Team USA's roster on Thursday morning:
|C/1B||Joe Mauer||LHP||Jeremy Affeldt|
|C||Jose Arencibia||LHP||Tim Collins|
|C||Jonathan Lucroy||LHP||Derek Holland|
|1B||Mark Teixeira||LHP||Glen Perkins|
|2B||Brandon Phillips||RHP||Heath Bell|
|SS||Jimmy Rollins||RHP||Mitchell Boggs|
|3B||David Wright||RHP||Steve Cishek|
|UT||Ben Zobrist||RHP||R.A. Dickey|
|UT||Willie Bloomquist||RHP||Luke Gregerson|
|OF||Ryan Braun||RHP||Craig Kimbrel|
|OF||Adam Jones||RHP||Kris Medlen|
|OF||Giancarlo Stanton||RHP||Chris Perez|
|OF||Shane Victorino||RHP||Vinnie Pestano|
Victorino, as we already knew, is on the squad, as the fourth outfielder.
Boston isn't entirely out of the woods yet, as the rest of the rosters are set to be announced at 4 pm on MLB Network. Ryan Dempster was still talking to Team Canada about joining their squad, and not everyone in the Sox' bullpen is of American descent. Just a few more hours, though, and we'll all know if there's anyone we need to spend March worrying about.