Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins will once again represent the United States in the World Baseball Classic, it was announced Thursday. Rollins is the only Phillies player to be chosen to play in the spring baseball tournament for Team USA (the remaining rosters for other participating countries will be revealed later today) that runs at the same time as spring training.
Rollins is one of four players returning to Team USA from the 2009 team, the first year of the World Baseball Classic. He is joined by former Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino, now with the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun and New York Mets third baseman David Wright.
Unlike the 2009 WBC, this time around it looks as though Rollins is expected to be the starting shortstop. Derek Jeter, who had his season end with a broken left ankle in the postseason last October, has been cleared for baseball activitiy but will sit out this year's classic. That should mean more playing time for Rollins.
The World Baseball Classic throws out the first pitch on Saturday, March 2 inJapan and Taiwan. Team USA's first game will be played March 7 in Arizona.
Team USA lost in the semi-finals in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, falling to Japan.