2008 U.S. Olympic Team

So, the Olympic roster has been announced. There are many familiar Bus League names on the list, but USA Baseball presents them in a very clinical way, as if these were guys they just found on the street with no other attachment to baseball. In fact, a player is one of four things on this roster: infielder, outfielder, catcher, or pitcher.

So, I’m going to re-announce the roster with all of the spaces colored in:

Brett Anderson, LHP, Midland Rockhounds (AA Texas League) – Oakland As

Jake Arrieta, RHP, Frederick Keys (Advanced A Carolina League) – Baltimore Orioles

Brian Barden, SS, Memphis Redbirds (AAA Pacific Coast League) – St. Louis Cardinals

Matthew Brown, 3B, Salt Lake Bees (AAA Pacific Coast League) – Anaheim Angels

Trevor Cahill, RHP, Midland Rock Hounds (AA Texas League) – Oakland As

Jason Donald, SS, Reading Phillies (AA Eastern League) – Philadelphia Phillies

Geno Espineli, LHP, Fresno Grizzlies (AAA Pacific Coast League) – San Francisco Giants

Dexter Fowler, CF, Tulsa Drillers (AA Texas League) – Colorado Rockies

John Gall, OF, Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA Pacific Coast League) – Florida Marlins

Mike Hessman, 3B, Toledo Mudhens (AAA International League) – Detroit Tigers

Kevin Jepsen, RHP, Salt Lake Bees (AAA Pacific Coast League) – Anaheim Angels

Brandon Knight, RHP, New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA Pacific Coast League) – New York Mets

Mike Koplove, RHP, Las Vegas 51s (AAA Pacific Coast League) – L.A. Dodgers

Matt LaPorta, OF, Akron Aeros (AA Eastern League) – Cleveland Indians

Lou Marson, C, Reading Phillies (AA Eastern League) – Philadelphia Phillies

Blaine Neal, RHP, Toledo Mudhens (AAA International League) – Detroit Tigers

Colby Rasmus, LF, Memphis Redbirds (AAA Pacific Coast League) – St. Louis Cardinals

Clayton Richard, LHP, Charlotte Knights (AAA International League) – Chicago White Sox

Jeff Stevens, RHP, Buffalo Bisons (AAA International League) – Cleveland Indians

Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State Aztecs

Taylor Teagarden, C, Oklahoma RedHawks (AAA International League) – Texas Rangers

Terry Tiffee, OF, Las Vegas 51s (AAA Pacific Coast League) – L.A. Dodgers

Casey Weathers, RHP, Tulsa Drillers (AA Texas League) – Colorado Rockies

Two big surprises here. First, Stephen Strasburg, the lone college player to make the squad, did so on the strength of a 23-strikeout performance on April 11th of this year. Second, Geno Espineli does not look like a member of Tony Soprano’s crew. Perhaps his middle name – Macalalag – would have tipped me off, had I known it in advance.

Another thing that jumps out at me on first perusal is a utility-minded approach to the infield positions. I see two guys who are used to playing 3B in the minors, and two who generally play shortstop. We know that Matt LaPorta, listed here as an outfielder, also plays a great deal of first base, so that may be part of the answer. Otherwise, it looks like some tweaks and adjustments will have to be made in a short amount of time.

So there you have them, folks. Your Team USA, drawn almost exclusively from the Bus Leagues. Good luck in Beijing, gentlemen!


A couple weeks back, we announced our take on the 2008 Olympic Baseball roster. Since then, a few things have changed.

Colby Rasmus has withdrawn due to injury.

Geno Espineli was called up to San Francisco

Clayton Richard was called up to the White Sox

First guy on the list is probably extremely bummed. The other two are probably mostly ecstatic.

Anyway, on to the replacements.

Taking their place, including the 24th man left off the initial announcement, are second baseman Jayson Nix (Colorado Rockies organization), pitchers Jeremy Cummings (Tampa Bay Rays), Brian Duensing (Minnesota) and outfielder Nate Schierholtz (San Francisco Giants). Nix is the 24th man.

[NBC Olympics]

The article also points out that the dual call-up severely depleted the team’s supply of left-handed hurlers.

I recognize Schierholtz’s name from the Futures Game. The others I’ll have to learn more about. Congrats to the new additions, and to the callups. Colby… there’s always next year man. Keep ya head up.

[USA Baseball]

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