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WBC: Thursday pitch count impacts
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/10/2006 11:16:00 AM
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Quick notes on major league pitchers who took part in Thursday's WBC games, and subsequent eligibility for later games based on WBC pitch count rules:

Dominican Republic:  Odalis Perez threw 42 pitches in his middling start against Italy. Jorge Sosa threw 40 pitches in an excellent four-inning relief stint (the DR was up just 4-3 when he entered the game in the 4th). Having seen Sosa come up in the Devil Rays' chain, I don't think he's ever been so mentally involved in a game on March 9th in his life. Both Perez and Sosa, as well as Bartolo Colon, are ineligible for the Dominicans' meaningless game against Australia on Friday; Daniel Cabrera will start. However, when the second round starts on Sunday, everyone on the staff will be eligible unless Cabrera or a reliever hits the 50-pitch mark on Friday. Colon likely gets the start on Sunday night against the Puerto Rica-Cuba winner. The scary outing will be Monday afternoon in the heat on the Field Turf surface at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan; Perez and/or Sosa will get that call versus the Puerto Rica-Cuba loser.

Venezuela:  Kelvim Escobar threw 63 pitches in his start against Australia. When Venezuela begins the second round on Sunday, they'll have three ineligible pitchers: Escobar, Freddy Garcia and Carlos Silva. Escobar will be ineligible on Monday as well. Both the Venezuelans and Dominicans play on Sunday and Monday before their rematch on Tuesday. Therefore, expect anyone pitching in relief for either team on Sunday to be rested on Monday in order to be eligible on Tuesday (you can pitch three games in a row in the WBC, but not three straight days). You think the Twins' Ron Gardenhire was upset after Johan Santana threw 61 pitches on Tuesday?  Wait until he finds out Santana will start on Sunday afternoon in that Field Turf heat at Bithorn against the Puerto Rica-Cuba loser. Garcia will get the call on Monday night against the Puerto Rica-Cuba winner.

BTW, Cuba's Yuliesky Gourriel has been an absolute sensation so far; personally, I can't wait until he comes up against either Santana or Colon for the first time on Sunday.

Mexico:  Esteban Loaiza threw 68 pitches in his start against Canada, putting together a clinic on how to pitch in a big game when your team scores four runs in the top of the first. He will be ineligible for Mexico's second round opener against Korea on Sunday, as will Francisco Campos, but everyone else will be able to go.

Canada:  Jeff Francis threw 36 pitches, five of which went for extra bases. He'll remember this game for a while. No one else returning to an MLB camp threw more than 16 pitches.

Team USA note:  if Roger Clemens hits 50 pitches versus South Africa on Friday, he'd be ineligible until Thursday and likely would not pitch in the semis or final if the Americans get that far.

Oh, and the Orioles' Calvin Maduro threw 62 pitches in relief for the Netherlands against Cuba on Thursday night. Between the workloads assumed by Maduro, Bruce Chen, Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen this week, Orioles fans can be excused for hating this stinkin' tournament. The good news is that everyone heads back to the O's camp this weekend except for Daniel Cabrera and Mexico's Rodrigo Lopez, who'll probably start against Korea on Sunday.


One guy I'd be concerned about - Escobar had elbow issues for much of last year - 63 pitches in serious competition sounds like a lot for him at this stage.
Posted by cliss at 3/10/2006 2:39:00 PM
Following up Escobar - his explicit goal this spring is to build up his pitch count, to get accustomed to starting again for the season. He finished the year in relief last year and didn't play winter ball. He said that he wouldn't play in the WBC unless he could start, so his relatively high pitch count here was almost by design.
Posted by Erickson at 3/12/2006 5:39:00 PM

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