The World Baseball Classic is an awesome concept, but something that just hasn’t quite been figured out logistically. You can’t put it after the season. It won’t work like Olympic hockey where the players leave during the season to represent their countries. So I suppose Spring Training is the only time for this type of tournament.
Orioles outfielder Adam Jones accepted an invitation to play for Team USA while teammates Pedro Strop will play for the Dominican Republic, Jonathan Schoop for the Netherlands, Allan De San Miguel for Australia and Chris Robinson for Canada.
Luis Ayala continues to kick around the idea of playing for Team Mexico.
“It’s something to where for me as a catcher it’s important for me to get in here and learn the new guys as well as try and just get on the same page with the starters,” Wieters told Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. “I always think it’s harder for a catcher to be able to miss time in spring training than anybody else.”
But seriously, I respect Wieters’ decision to stay back and work with this staff. If staying in Spring Training with Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman helps him learn both pitcher’s styles, it will give the O’s an extra edge when they are called up (later this season).
On the same note, I’m happy to see Jones represent the US and get involved in some live game action early. He hit the ground running at the start of 2012 hitting .333/.368/.611 with 6 home runs and 12 RBI in April. I look forward to watching him play in the WBC and expect him to get off to a fast start once again come April.
Aside from Wieters, the only other guys I wouldn’t want to see play in the WBC would be anyone competing for a rotation spot. Innings are far too valuable to lose and I’m happy to see that none of the O’s starters accepted (or were even offered) invites.