Luke Gregerson To Pitch For Team USA

Jed Jacobsohn

The Padres will provider a pitcher to Team USA once again. In the previous two World Baseball Classics, Jake Peavy represented the United States and the Padres, but this time it will be Luke Gregerson in the Red, White and Blue.

Personally, I'm a fan of the World Baseball Classic. People can quibble over when or how it should be played, but in my mind it should definitely be played. With that said, I'm a tad bit more excited about it now that Luke Gregerson will be a part of Team USA. The normal concerns about workload of course will come with his inclusion. Unlike Jake Peavy's experiences as a starting pitcher for Team USA where he had to go a few innings at a time in the year when his workload might not normally be that high, Gregerson will only be asked to pitch an inning here or there. That's somewhat similar to what he'd do as a part of Spring Training. Of course, the stress will be amped up with meaningful games on the line and potentially the manager could call on him on shorter rest than he would normally get in Spring Training.

However, I don't let all these concerns about players dampen the fun of competitive international baseball. Other worldly sports like basketball, hockey and soccer have similar competitions and set the standard for international sport. It's exciting to see baseball attempt to get on the same level.

As for other Padres and the World Baseball Classic, I believe Edinson Volquez is expected to pitch for the Dominican Republic as he did in 2009. No word yet on whether Chris Denorfia will again play for Team Italy, who for some reason automatically qualified for the World Baseball Classic's final 16. There may be one or two Padres farmhands who make a team as well. The most likely would be 18-year-old catcher Rodney Daal, who can play for The Netherlands.

As a refresher, the final 16 teams are USA, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Australia, The Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

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