Spring Headlines: Eric Hosmer replaces Mark Teixeira for USA at World Baseball Classic, Dominicans club Cole Hamels

David Brown
Big League Stew

USA Baseball announced on Wednesday it has selected Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals to replace Mark Teixeira for the World Baseball Classic. Teixeira injured his right wrist Tuesday and will miss perhaps 10 days of camp for the New York Yankees, who are worried it might be more, the New York Post reports.

He might not be Prince Fielder or Paul Konerko in terms of accomplishment or star power, but Hosmer is a convenient choice. He's a left-handed bat, he's a good fielder and his major league team trains near Chase Field, where Team USA's first-round WBC games will be played. So, despite Hosmer's disappointing 2012 season for the Kansas City Royals, he makes sense for several reasons. He's also a notoriously strong spring training hitter, for whatever reason.

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Reporter Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote a humorous but realistic post on Adam LaRoche being another candidate to replace Teixeira:

“I hope they’re not that desperate,” LaRoche said. “They’d be getting down to the bottom in they’re asking me.”

Well, Adam(s), it turns out they were not that desperate after all.

Dominicans unload lumber on Hamels: Featuring a lineup that includes many major league stars, the Dominican Republic pounded 28 hits in a 15-2 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Clearwater. The likes of Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, Nelson Cruz and Hanley Ramirez did much of the damage. Left-hander Cole Hamels took the brunt, allowing eight runs and 12 hits in 2 2/3 innings.

The Philadelphia Inquirer took the opportunity to ask Hamels about not pitching in the WBC (because why would you want to talk about getting torched by the Dominicans?):

"I know my allegiance is to the Phillies and this organization winning the World Series. I think winning the World Series is a little bit more important than whatever trophy they give for the World Baseball Classic. The World Series is ultimately the goal that I would go for no matter what they are throwing out there for the champions of the World Baseball Classic."

Yankees will try Rivera on Saturday: Longtime New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera return to game action Saturday, MLB.com reports. It would be his first appearance since he tore the ACL in his right knee May 3.

Rivera threw a simulated inning on Sunday and said that he feels prepared to pitch in a game.

"I think that we are ready to do that," Rivera said.

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