¬†UPDATE (3/2 12:35PM ET): HAWKINS TO REPLACE NATHAN
Latroy Hawkins will take the roster spot of Joe Nathan on Team USA. Nathan Dropped out of the Classic because of soreness in his right shoulder. Hawkins was contacted by Team USA's pitching coach, Marcel Lachemann, on Sunday night about joining the team.¬†Hawkins was reluctant at first but after consulting some family and friends, he decided to join the team for the Classic, according to MLB.com. Also, B.J. Ryan will not playing in the WBC as originally thought because of mechanical problems that he wants to fix during spring camp.¬†
Joe Nathan of the Minnesota Twins has decided to stay in camp instead of joining Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. Nathan has experienced some soreness in his right shoulder for the past several days. ¬†Nathan does not think this will be anything serious. "I think we backed off it early enough to where it won't be an issue," Nathan said to the Associated Press.¬†¬†
Nathan who has averaged nearly 40 saves over the past 5 years was slated to be Team USA‚Äôs closer. He said the decision to stay at camp instead of playing for his country was a tough one to make. He said he felt fine on Sunday when he got done with his bullpen session, but said he wanted to be cautious and staying with the Twins would allow him to do that. "That's the one advantage I have of being here," Nathan said. "If there's a day I can back off, I can. Being there wouldn't allow me to stay on the schedule I need. I think I'm on the right track now. If things go well, I can be in a game on Thursday."
It is unsure on who will fill the closer role for Team USA, but the most likely candidates for the job will be B.J. Ryan of the Toronto Blue Jays or J.J. Putz of the New York Mets.