A Handful Of Mariners Will Finally Get A Taste Of WBC Action
After an exciting three-day start to the World Baseball Classic in which no Mariners player or the team they’re affiliated with this WBC have played a game, M’s fans will finally get to see at least some of their own in tomorrow’s group C and D openers for Teams Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico, and Italy.
Here at Sodo Mojo, the anticipation for the WBC is reaching a boiling point.
Sure, it’s been nice to see players get their first licks at the plate and on the mound in spring training, but the WBC puts the dozen (if Drew Smyly plays in round two) Mariners that will be attending the contest into more regular season-esque game situations that can give us a better read of how these players will hold up against top-quality players giving it near their all for their respective countries.
Tomorrow, Tyler O’Neill and Team Canada will kick things off in Pool C at 3 PM PST against the intimidating hitting trio of Team Dominican Republic that is Jean Segura, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz.
Three hours later at 6 PM PST, relievers, Sam Gaviglio and Pat Venditte will be waiting patiently to take the mound in Team Italy’s bullpen as their side faces likely game one starter in Pool D, Yovani Gallardo for Team Mexico. Gallardo’s teammate, Sebastian Valle may contribute later in the ballgame if they call him in from the dugout
Much like spring training, Gallardo (if he starts tomorrow) and Segura will be key players for Mariners fans to watch on MLB Network or MLB.TV. Both are trying to prove they can be important assets to this year’s M’s club.
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Gallardo is hoping to pick up where he left off in spring ball, recording a 3 IP, 1 H, 3 K start versus the Colorado Rockies as opposed to his Mariners debut against the Kansas City Royals where he had a line of 1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 HBP, 2 BB.
Segura, on the other hand, would like to get his mojo back after he came out the spring gates with a scorching bat. In his first three appearances, Segura went 6-8 with four runs scored, two doubles, a home run, a stolen base, three RBIs, and no strikeouts. Since then, the newly acquired shortstop has been ice cold going 0-10 with three K’s.
If Segura can heat up again while playing aside his reliable power-hitting teammates of Cruz and Cano -who I expect to play well in the WBC- Team Dominican Republic should be considered a likely finals contender.
It will be great to see each of the M’s that are taking part in the international contest getting some time on the big stage that is the WBC.
Tomorrow fans may get to see a half dozen M’s kick off pools C and D of the WBC. What a treat that will be to see Mariners represent their homelands in such an important international tournament.