The rosters for the 2023 World Baseball Classic that will start on March 7 have already been revealed.
Except for injury, they can’t be changed.
Team USA, unfortunately, had to cross out a name that had already been announced and add a replacement because of injury.
New York Yankees starter Nestor Cortes strained his right hamstring recently, an ailment that usually require several weeks to heal.
To cope with his absence, Team USA and manager Mark DeRosa announced that the Colorado Rockies‘ Kyle Freeland will take Cortes’ place.
Congrats to client Kyle Freeland on being named to the official roster for Team USA in the upcoming WBC!
What an honor for Kyle to represent the Stars and Stripes! 🇺🇸 #ForGlory // #msmfamily pic.twitter.com/KCDjUu69yp
— MSM (@MSMsports) February 13, 2023
Freeland, a left-hander just like Cortes, is ready to represent his country for the first time in the event.
His ERA finishes in the last three seasons haven’t been the best, but we have to account for the fact he plays in the most hitter-friendly park in MLB: Coors Field.
He finished with a 4.33 ERA in 2020 and 2021, and the number soared to 4.53 in 2022.
In a more neutral environment, we can see he is a solid hurler.
He is not quite on Cortes’ level, but will proudly represent his country in a time of need.
Team USA likely wanted a left-hander to replace Cortes, who is in danger of missing Opening Day with his hamstring strain.
Freeland has a career 4.27 ERA, but outside of a 2.85 ERA in 2018, has been closer to average than great.
The number to consider, however, is his home/away splits.
At home in the hitter’s paradise that is Coors, he has a career 4.77 ERA.
On the road, closer to sea level, he is at 3.77.
He can be a solid arm for the Americans in the tournament.NEXT: The Rockies Own A Surprise NL Feat