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Team USA’s lineup for first WBC exhibition game

Mar 5, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

Joe Torre AP

For anyone into the World Baseball Classic, here’s the Team USA lineup for today’s pre-WBC tuneup game against the White Sox:

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
3. Ryan Braun, DH
4. Joe Mauer, C
5. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
6. Mark Teixeira, 1B
7. David Wright, 3B
8. Adam Jones, CF
9. Shane Victorino, LF

Like many managers, Joe Torre likes speedy guys atop the lineup even if they don’t do a particularly good job getting on base. Rollins and Phillips had .316 and .321 on-base percentages last season, so they aren’t exactly ideal table-setters. Mauer, who got on base at a .416 clip last year while hitting just 10 homers in 147 games, is batting cleanup, which he hasn’t done for the Twins since 2006.

Breaking down batting orders for an exhibition game before an exhibition tournament seems like probably the biggest waste of time in the world, but … I dunno, it seemed a little interesting to me.

  1. cosanostra71 - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Go USA!

  2. mattintoledo - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    For all the hubbub about not getting the biggest stars, that looks like a pretty damn good group of players.

    • El Bravo - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      I would agree, but it’s the pitching that is lacking. I still think the pitching will hold its own though and I have high hopes for the US team this year.

  3. El Bravo - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I actually think the lineup would be better if this were upside-down.

    • commutesblog - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Yes, the only anomaly on that one would be Ryan Braun at #7. But it may be no more of an anomaly as Adam Jones at #8 in the current lineup!

  4. proudlycanadian - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    It is a good looking team although in Game 1, Arencibia is expected to be catching for Dickey. Arencibia will not be hitting in the 4th spot in that game.

  5. rwpsych16 - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Yea that lineup seem pretty screwed up. Mauer hitting clean up??? Maybe he’s been hanging out with Braun over the winter and has some added power.

  6. carbydrash - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Using Baseball Analysis’s lineup tool*, the optimal lineup would look like this:

    1. Joe Mauer
    2. Ryan Braun
    3. Brandon Phillips**
    4. Giancarlo Stanton
    5. David Wright
    6. Adam Jones
    7. Mark Teixeira
    8. Jimmy Rollins
    9. Shane Victorino

    The least optimal lineup:

    1. Jimmy Rollins
    2. Brandon Phillips
    3. Adam Jones
    4. Shane Victorino
    5. Mark Teixeira
    6. Joe Mauer
    7. David Wright
    8. Ryan Braun
    9. Giancarlo Stanton

    It should be noted that the predicted difference in between these two is about 1/2 a run per game, which, over the course of a something with as few of games as the World Baseball Classic, doesn’t really matter.

    ** There’s a whole big thing about how it isn’t terribly efficient from a run producing perspective to actually bat your best hitter third. This isn’t justifying that position (I’m not sure I agree with it), just stating that it exists which is why the lineup generator is putting Phillips 3rd.

  7. dkphilly1122 - Mar 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    As a Phillies fan not a big fan of Victorino on the team at all and Rollins batting lead off. Jimmy should be definitely at the bottom of this lineup. Wright, Braun and Stanton should be the 3-5 hitters without a doubt. I hate the Mets but love Wright, especially with him batting in the 7th spot. Hopefully he kills it and the rest of them regardless for Team USA!!

  8. sleepyirv - Mar 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    I imagine Torre is managing just for another chance to blow off Scott Proctor’s arm. He’s not even on the roster? Don’t worry, Torre will find a way.

  9. blacksables - Mar 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    It’s not an exhibition. It’s a tournament. With winners and prize money and all that stuf

    • bronsonshore - Mar 5, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Thank you, blacksables, for actually realizing that words mean something, and not just projecting your own narrow-minded opinion onto everyone else.

      It’s getting embarrassing the way that this site can barely hide its contempt for the WBC, and only covers it if it can also make fun of it (Pouliot excepted, who thankfully realizes that there’s actual baseball to cover).

  10. cktai - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Ugh, I wish we had any player of that calibre in our squad 😦 Somehow this WBC and the Dutch woes in left field make Halman’s death even more tragic.

  11. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I thought the Red Sox said Victorino had to play RF in this thing. Granted, I don’t think he wants to approach Giancarlo about moving off his position, but I thought I read some tough-talk about that from the Sox front office.

    I am getting a little nostalgic looking at this lineup. As a Yankee fan, I have not been bewildered by a Torre lineup in yours. Ahh…memories.

  12. 13arod - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Put Mauer in 3 slot and put ryan brayn in 4th slot

  13. coryfor3 - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Looking at that lineup, I guess I see why Torre isn’t managing anymore.

  14. hermie13 - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Victorino starting over Zobrist?!?!

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