Projected Team Dominican Republic

Batting Order

SS Jose Reyes: The new Blue Jays shortstop and the 2011 NL batting champ is the typical leadoff hitter. He will provide a high average and tons of speed on the basepaths. He hit .287 with 40 SBs this past year with Miami and will most likely be the starting shortstop, but Starlin Castro will get some playing time early in the tournament.

OF Melky Cabrera: Another new Blue Jay is coming off his steroid suspension that saw him miss 50 games and the playoffs for the Giants. He hit .346 with 11HRs in just 113 games before the suspension.

1B Albert Pujols: A perennial MVP candidate got off to a slow start last year with Anaheim, but finished off the year with a .285 average belting 30HR and 105RBI. His career line is .325/475/1434, oh, and he is also a two time gold glove first basemen.

OF Nelson Cruz: A power hitting outfielder with a cannon for an arm who will most likely man right field. Cruz has 130 career home runs with only four seasons of more than 100 games.

2B Robinson Cano: An all-around all-star. Makes amazing defensive plays up the middle then hits .313 with 33 homeruns. Cano hit .231 in his last WBC and hopes to improve on that mark.

3B Adrian Beltre: As long as nobody touches his head he will have a good tournament. Coming off an outstanding year where he hit .321 with 36 homeruns and 121 RBIs. He also has four career gold gloves.

DH David Ortiz: Big Papi is one of the few who had a good year under Valentine in Boston. In just 90 game Ortiz had an average of .313 and had 23 homeruns. His leadership and attitude will be great for this team.

C Carlos Santana: Santana is coming off just his second full major league season with the Cleveland Indians. He has compiled 51 career homeruns and 177 RBIs. Hitting lower in this lineup will provide some security and will allow him to focus more on his defensive game, instead of carrying the offensive load.

OF Carlos Gomez: The exuberant Brewers outfielder is coming off a career year where he hit 19 HR and had an average of .260. He will provide a lot of speed on the basepaths (37 stolen bases in2012) and solid defense in center field.

Pitching

SP Ubaldo Jimenez: He had a…well horrible season but is still a good option for the Dominican. They hope he can find his 2010 form where he went 19-8. This season was his first one with an ERA over 5.00 and less than 150 strikeouts.

SP Edison Volquez: Had a decent year, his first with the Padres, posting an 11-11 record and a 4.14 ERA.  Will most likely be the third starter behind Jimenez and Rodriguez.

SP Wandy Rodriguez: Posted a 12-13 record splitting time between the woeful Astros and the almost equally as woeful Pirates. It was his worst ERA since 2007, but still better than both Jimenez and Volquez.

RP Rafael Soriano: Posted a 2.12 ERA with 42 saves for the Bronx Bombers while doing a great job filling in for an injured Mariano Rivera. Will either close or be the set-up man for Fernando Rodney for the Dominican.

RP Pedro Strop: Posted a 2.44 ERA with the Orioles. Has a plus fastball and will be used to get out of jams when a strikeout is needed.

RP Al Albuquerque: Came back for the end of the season and posted a 0.68 ERA over 13.1 innings and is a strong middle innings option.

RP Alexi Ogando: A long reliever candidate for this team due to his 30 career starts for the Rangers. Especially with the pitch count rule in affect this year, “second starters” are needed to get their teams to the late innings.

RP Carlos Villanueva : Another long reliever possibility. Has split time between the bullpen and a starting role the past two years with the Blue Jays.

RP Jose Valverde: Closes games out for the Tigers this past season, saving 35 games. After his playoffs it will be tough to trust him though. Could be used in mop up duty to help get confidence back.

RP Fernando Rodney: Had an unbelievable 0.60ERA while saving 48 games for the Rays. This was his first season as a full time closer since 2009 where he posted 37 saves with the Tigers. He and Soriano will be fighting out who gets to close out games.

RP Octavio Dotel: Veteran presence will be good in the bullpen. Still a very effective pitcher who posted a 3.57 ERA with the Tigers this season.

Bench

1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion: .280AVG, 42HR, 110RBI with the Toronto Blue Jays.

SS Starlin Castro: .283AVG, 14HR, 78RBI with the Chicago Cubs.

C Miguel Olivo: .222AVG, 12HR, 29RBI with the Seattle Mariners.

2B/OF Emilio Bonafacio: .258AVG, 30SB with the Miami Marlins.

Hopefuls

Johnny Cueto:  With a somewhat weak starting pitching rotation, the addition of Johnny Cueto would be huge for the Dominicans. He posted a 19-9 record with a 2.78ERA before leaving game one of the NLDS against the Giants with a strained back. If the doctors and the Reds give him the go ahead it would be a big addition for the mighty Dominicans.

Jose Bautista:  Adding one more bat to the already over powered offense could put them over the top in 2013. Bautista was hurt for a large part of 2012 and Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said he won’t play if the Jays medical staff has any concerns. Bautista only hit .241 but managed 27 homeruns and 65 RBIs this past year.

Projection

This could be the year for the Dominicans. They have their best lineup to date offensively, but a very weak starting rotation. The starters will either make or break the team. Their opening pool consists of Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Spain.  There are three very good teams in this pool and the Dominicans are one of them. However, if they falter like they did in 2009 where they lost not once, but twice to the Netherlands, they may have another early exit. Last tournaments failure is still fresh in the mind of those players who were there and they are itching to get back at it. They have all the tools to take home the trophy but in a short tournament like this it is all about chemistry and getting hot at the right time.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s