The Kansas City Royals talented first baseman Eric Hosmer replaces Mark Teixeira on the Team USA roster. Hosmer is set to join the team in Scottsdale, Arizona for an exhibition match with the Colorado Rockies. It just so happens that his Royals teammates play the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale that same afternoon.
The quick roster adjustment should go over fairly well for USA coach Joe Torre. Hosmer will see a lot of playing time, being the only true first baseman left on the roster after Mark Teixeira’s injury.
Teixeira injured his right wrist in Yankees camp on Tuesday and is expected to miss 10 days at the least. He was immediately scratched from the USA roster as Yankees officials noted the recovery may take more than 10 days.
The Miami, Florida native has two seasons under his belt with the Royals, posting a .293 average with 19 home runs and 78 runs batted in during his rookie season. Hosmer’s numbers fell off in his second year, hitting .232 with 14 homers and 60 RBIs.
Whether Hosmer can help Team USA win a few ball games or not is easier said than done, but finding a replacement with Hosmer’s talent in such a short time almost seemed impossible. Joe Torre has always been considered one of the most respectable coaches of the most recent past but probably didn’t have to do much convincing.
Team USA’s first match in the World Baseball Classic is Friday night against Mexico at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The USA squad will feature stars such as the Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer and notorious knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Mets third baseman David Wright will also play for USA as they begin their journey for gold at the World Baseball Classic. Joe Torre has a pretty good team behind him that will play in Pool D which includes Canada, Italy, and Mexico.
Cuba and Japan have already advanced out of Pool A, which played their games in Fukuoka, Japan. Pool B has also finished, with Chinese Tapei and the Netherlands advancing to the second round. Play resumes on Thursday with the first games on the final two groupings.
R.A. Dickey will bring his knuckleball to the table in USA’s first match against Mexico. Eric Hosmer will be in uniform, ready to play for his country. Hosmer replaces Teixeira on a roster that has changed numerous times since the MLB’s spring training began, but the team’s goal has never changed: Win every game and take home the hardware.