|Xander Bogaerts, Alfredo Aceves among four Red Sox in WBC||01.17.13 at 8:29 pm ET|
In addition to Shane Victorino, who was named to Team USA, the Red Sox will have three additional participants in the World Baseball Classic. Perhaps the most notable participant will be top Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts, a native of Aruba who will play for the Netherlands. He will play for a team that already features a pair of tremendous defensive shortstops in Andrelton Simmons of the Braves and Jurickson Profar of the Rangers. That being the case, it will be interesting to see what position Bogaerts plays during the WBC.
Sox GM Ben Cherington told reporters in Providence that he doesn’t yet know what position Bogaerts will play for his team.
“Hopefully they’ll find a spot on the field where he’ll be safe,” said Cherington. “I think we’d be mostly concerned with just safety and putting him in a spot where he’ll be comfortable. I’m sure they want his bat in the lineup.”
(Interestingly, the Sox interceded when the possibility was raised of having Bogaerts play third base for the World Team during the All-Star Futures Game in July. However, those circumstances were different, as Bogaerts had no real time to prepare to play a position he’d never manned on a baseball field. In the case of the WBC, there will be more time to prepare him for an alternate position.)
Right-hander Alfredo Aceves will compete for Team Mexico. He’s expected to start for Mexico, although given that he was likely slated to get stretched out as a starter by the Sox, that assignment should have little bearing on his spring training build-up (aside from the unique nature of competing in meaningful games in spring training — though it’s worth noting that Aceves typically treats spring training games with ferocious intensity anyway).
The fourth and final Red Sox who will play in the WBC is right-hander Jose De La Torre, acquired last summer from the Indians in a trade for Brent Lillibridge and subsequently signed to a minor league deal this offseason. De La Torre will pitch for Puerto Rico. He’s currently pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League. During the winter league regular season, he was outstanding, recording a 2.96 ERA with 30 strikeouts and just four walks in 24 1/3 innings. Those numbers build on an impressive 2012 campaign in which the 27-year-old had a 9-1 record, 2.80 ERA, 74 strikeouts and 24 walks in 74 innings for three minor league teams with the Indians and Sox organizations.
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