Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Our kind of team, Ernie

Mike Wilner posted Canada's presumptive lineup for its World Baseball Classic opener late last night, or at least the first six hitters:
  1. Chris Barnwell, shortstop: Triple-A veteran on-based .364 in the PCL with the Albuquerque Isotopes last season.
  2. Russ Martin, catcher: He walked 90 times last season with the L.A. Dodgers, so he's a natural fit here. He could probably lead off, but putting the catcher there is too radical.
  3. Joey Votto, DH: Probably the best spot to put someone who will be the best Canadian corner infielder/outfielder eventually.
  4. Justin Morneau, first base: Lots of RBI opportunities, no more need be said.
  5. Jason Bay, centrefield: Breaks up the lefty bats and presuming you believe in lineup protection, protects Morneau.
  6. Matt Stairs, rightfield: Wilner said DH, but that is Votto's spot.
The bottom third would be the Kansas City Royals' Mark Teahen at third base, longtime quadruple-A player Peter Orr at second base and Cleveland Indians prospect Nick Weglarz in left field. Weglarz was No. 58 in Baseball America's top 100 prospects.

Remember, Canada's exhibition game against the Blue Jays is scheduled to be aired on Sportsnet today at 1 p.m.

Corey Koskie thrilled to take field with Canadian team at WBC (Shi Davidi, The Canadian Press)


Greg said...

Got my ticket for USA-Canada next Saturday. I'm stoked about this game.

It will be nice to be cheering for Moreanu, Bay and Votto this time instead of feeling so conflicted whenever they take at-bats at the Rogers Centre (and then promptly belt a home run or double, which almost always happens now... can you tell I'm cynical about the Jays this season?)

Andrew Bucholtz said...

I'm just thrilled that there's actually a team named the Albuquerque Isotopes. Do they use southwestern ingredients on their hot dogs?

Rob Pettapiece said...

I am shocked, shocked to find out that Ernie Whitt knows what on-base percentage is, but not so shocked that he thinks someone with a .322 career OBP, and in the minors at that, is worthy of the leadoff spot.

Martin-Stairs-Bay is a better 1-2-3, with Morneau and Votto following. Add in Barnwell and Weglarz, get Corey Koskie's Sense of Determination and Redemption to pinch-hit, and that lineup is decent enough to surprise.

Rob Pettapiece said...

@Andrew: There's lots of good trivia surrounding the (real) Isotopes. Legend is, when that episode plays in (say) Boise, Idaho, the real Isotopes get a sudden influx of online orders from Boise Idaho, and oddly enough, the name actually fits.

Also, as a Western Canadian, you'll be interested to know they were formerly the Calgary Cannons. (The unpredictability of Calgary summers vs. the always-30-and-gorgeous Albuquerque motivated the move.)