As the World Baseball Classic enters its second full week, several players from the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox have made a big impact on the tournament thus far.
One player from the Cubs has already helped his team punch their tickets into the second round, as Puerto Rico infielder Javier Baez has been lighting up the tournament with his bat. In 14 at-bats Baez has a home run and five RBI, and he’s batting .357 as the Puerto Rico squad won Group D to advance to San Diego’s Petco Park for the second round.
Another Cubs player has a chance to get into the second round, but his team will need to triumph over Venezuela in a playoff game on Monday night. Cubs prospect John Andreoli has been a huge asset for the Italian squad, as he’s belted a pair of home runs and six RBI so far. He also had a game-winning hit against Mexico in the tournament’s opening game as he helped his team erase a four-run deficit going into the final inning.
As for the White Sox, they’ve had a bit more of a mixed bag in terms of results thus far. Pitchers David Robertson and Nate Jones both advanced to the second round with Team USA, and both were strong in their appearances for the American squad. Robertson held the Dominican Republic scoreless in his lone appearance, recording a strikeout and one hit allowed in one inning of work.
Meanwhile, Jones has had two appearances, giving up zero runs while walking two batters and striking out one in his outings.
Unfortunately for the Sox, two of their players are already eliminated from the tournament. Star pitcher Jose Quintana threw a no-hitter into the fifth inning of his outing against Team USA, but his team ended up blowing their lead and were ultimately eliminated from the tournament after group play.
Miguel Gonzalez had a similar fate for Team Mexico, as he gave up four earned runs as his Mexican team was promptly eliminated from the tournament despite playing their group games on home soil in Jalisco.
The second round of the World Baseball Classic has already begun in Japan, but things will get underway for the top two teams in Groups C and D when they meet at Petco Park in San Diego beginning on Tuesday night. The United States, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic have already clinched berths, and Italy and Venezuela will meet on Monday to determine the fourth and final team that will advance.