Its really not a classic, the World Series (Fall Classic) is a classic because its, well, classic. Anyway, the rosters were finalized last night and I thought I’d take a minute to look at the US roster and a few other teams with recognizable names.
The starting rotation appears to be very solid. Due to the schedule they only need a four man rotation. That consists of Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt at the top, and Ted Lilly and Jeremy Guthrie at the back end. Not bad. Two aces, plus two solid middle rotation guys. The bullpen is pretty crowded, with four closers in Nathan, Fuentes, Broxton, and BJ Ryan. There are a total of 14 pitchers and 14 position players, so that makes for a crowded bullpen. This is probably good news for the teams of the players, though. The starters don’t need to pitch very deep into the game, with plenty of viable relief options available.
The same can be said on the offensive side. Two all-star shortstops in Jeter and Rollins. Two catchers, Mark DeRosa who can play pretty much anywhere. Youklis appears to be the only true firstbaseman, and Pedrioa the only true secondbaseman. Too bad for the Red Sox, I hate them anyway. But I assume DeRosa will fill in at those two spots primarily, with Wright and Chipper Jones splitting time at third. There are four outfielders, two of whom are centerfielders (Granderson and Sizemore) and two corner (Hawp and Braun). It should be pretty easy to rotate those four guys, thus not overworking anyone.
We’ve already discussed the legitimacy of this tournament, so I won’t get into that. I think the US has a very strong squad. Johan Santana is sitting out, so the Venezuela squad is missing its best pitcher, but it still has Felix Hernandex and Carlos Zambrano. But one of them is offset by Carlos Silva. They should also have a strong lineup with Magglio Ordonez, and Miggy Cabrera. Defense appears to be solid with the Isturis brothers on the roster, as well as Endy Chavez in the outfield.
Another noteworth team is the Dominican Republic. While their pitching staff isn’t overwhelming, they do have a nice lineup. Hanely Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Alex Rodriguez, and David Ortiz are the big names. Along with Adrian Beltre and Robinson Cano. They are lacking Manny Ramierz and Albert Puljos, two players I believe they had last time around. The pitching staff has Johnny Cueto and Pedro Martinez. Not much else in the way of starters.
Of those three teams I looked at, I would think the US has the best squad, due to pitching. The starters are very good, and so is the bullpen. Obviously Japan and Cuba will have very good teams, but since outside of Ichiro I don’t know any of their players, I wasn’t going to bother looking at their rosters. My guess is that the United States, Japan, or Cuba will win. And two of those teams will be playing each other in the championship round.2 comments