The San Francisco Giants will lose 10 players to the World Baseball Classic. They are the second most represented team in the majors behind the Brewers.
Pitcher Jose Mijares, second baseman Marco Scutaro and third baseman Pablo Sandoval will represent Venezuela. Pitcher Javier Lopez and outfielder Angel Pagan of Puerto Rico will battle their Venezuelan teammates as well as pitcher Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic) in Pool C of this year’s WBC. These games will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Casilla told the Mercury News that Sandoval would get a fastball right down the middle if they were to face each other.
“Outside pitches, he can hit. Down in the dirt, no problem. But he doesn’t hit pitches that are down the middle.” There has been no shortage of smack talk leading up to the Classic.
Giants fans should also keep an eye on Pool D in Phoenix with pitchers Jeremy Affeldt and Ryan Vogelsong of Team USA squaring off against fellow pitcher Sergio Romo (Mexico) and minor-league catcher Tyler Latorre (Italy).
The Giants are not worried about the high number of stars leaving camp to participate in the tournament.
“I’m not anticipating the World Classic slowing up anybody’s preparation,” said Bobby Evans, vice president of baseball operations.
Hitting coach Hensley Meulens will manage Team Netherlands in this year’s WBC.
The semifinals and championship round will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, March 17-19.
– – Shea Raff