After a wrist injury forced Mark Teixeira to drop out of the World Baseball Classic, the team needed to add a first baseman to the roster and according to Dave Skretta of the AP, Eric Hosmer has been selected as the replacement.
Part of the decision stems from Hosmer being a talented player, and part comes out of the Team USA workouts taking place in Arizona. J.J. Cooper suggested that Hosmer probably wasn’t the top choice as Teixeira’s replacement, implying that the search was probably limited to players already in Arizona (as Jeff Passan guessed). Players like Ike Davis, Prince Fielder and Freddie Freeman could have been options but all are in Florida.
Maybe it’ll be good for Hosmer though. After a tough 2012, he’s hitting well in spring so far with a .391/.462/.696 line in 23 at bats and has four extra base hits while leading the Royals with 8 RBIs.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 6, 2013
Jon Morosi added that Team USA wanted a left-handed bat with a “relatively low strikeout rate” and that Hosmer’s early success this spring suggests he’s game-ready, an important consideration for the competition.
My outlook on the WBC is that I’d rather see the player in their own camp, but having Hosmer surrounded by a bunch of established stars might be good for him to see how they carry themselves. Hosmer’s inclusion probably cuts any experiments with Hosmer in right field short, if the Royals had that in mind over the next couple of weeks.
Hosmer joins Tim Collins who had previously been selected for Team USA’s roster.
(updated to include Morosi’s comments)