American Nats left out of World Baseball Classic

American Nats left out of World Baseball Classic
January 17, 2013, 11:00 am
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They may have a roster loaded with All-Stars, but the Nationals won't have anyone representing Team USA in this spring's World Baseball Classic.

Manager Joe Torre announced his 28-man provisional roster this morning, and in a fairly surprising development, zero members of the Nationals were on the list.

The roster was assembled by Torre and his coaching staff, though major-league clubs do have the ability to discourage some players from participating due to injury concerns. The players themselves also have the right to decline an invitation for any reason.

It was previously known Bryce Harper would not play in the event, which will be held in March and require players to leave their spring training camps for as many as three weeks. And it seemed a safe assumption that Stephen Strasburg would not pitch for Team USA, given the manner in which his innings are closely monitored.

But it stood to reason someone else off a Nationals club that won 98 games last season would be selected, whether relievers Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman or shortstop Ian Desmond.

In the end, Torre went with a WBC roster that features plenty of big-name starters (David Wright, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Teixeira, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones) but also several lesser-known role players who are already used to coming off the bench (Willie Bloomquist, Ben Zobrist).

The pitching staff, meanwhile, features far fewer big names, with the likes of Glen Perkins, Tim Collins and Vinnie Pestano among the relief corps.

Rosters for the 15 international WBC clubs will be announced this afternoon, but only one member of the Nationals is expected to be among that group: outfielder Roger Bernadina, who will play for his native Netherlands club.