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.
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.