Groin Keeps Sizemore from Playing in WBC. Victorino to Replace
According to MLB.com, a sore left groin will keep Grady Sizemore from playing for Team USA in this year’s World Baseball Classic. Sizemore informed the Cleveland Indians on Friday morning of his intentions to drop out of the WBC. He is being cautious with this to keep it from nagging him throughout any of the regular season.
The Indians center fielder is coming off an All-Star campaign in which he set career highs with 33 homeruns, 90 RBIs, and 38 stolen bases while hitting .268. Traditionally, hitters have their breakout year at the age of 27 and Sizemore turns 27 during this season. If this holds true in his case, he could become the first member of the 45/45 club if he can stay healthy.
In his place, Shane Victorino of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies has been announced as his replacement.
Victorino previously represented the United States on USA Baseball’s 2005 Regional Pre-Olympic Qualifying Team roster. The 28-year-old switch-hitter, a native of Wailuku, Hawaii, will wear uniform number 50 in honor of Hawaii being the 50th state of the United States.
Team USA will hold its first workout on Monday, March 2nd at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.
3 Starting Pitchers Scratched from their Weekend Starts
Johan Santana and Brandon Webb were both scratched from their scheduled Friday starts.
According to the Associated Press, Santana experienced a sore elbow on Thursday. He was scratched from a “B” game start against Italy. His manager Jerry Manuel said this was a precautionary decision due to Santana’s history of a sore elbow early in Spring Training. He is still expected to make is Spring Training debut Tuesday.
Webb experienced some tightness in his right forearm. He threw off flat ground on Friday and he said it felt better than it did on Thursday. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Webb both expect him to make his next scheduled start which is on March 4th. Bob Melvin was quoted by the Associated Press as saying “I don’t see it as an issue at all.”
Jeremy Bonderman was scratched from his start on Saturday due to what Jim Leyland calls “normal stiffness”, according to MLB.com. This is a precautionary measure taken by the Detroit Tigers with Bonderman coming off surgery from last year to remove a blood clot in which his rehab has mainly consisted of rebuilding strength.