In a move that shows Team USA is more focused on fielding a complete prototypical baseball team than a star-laden bunch, Cubs' second baseman/utility man extraordinaire, Mark DeRosa, has been added to the team for the World Baseball Classic.
DeRosa is a good player who is coming off a career year. He compiled a .376 OBP, while hitting a career high 21 home runs (his previous high was 13). He also set career highs in steals, walks, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS, and shattered his previous high in runs scored. At 34, he likely will still have a few years left of his prime.
All that being said, he's still not a star. If you were creating a team with the best possible players at each position, he wouldn't get an extended look. The move signifies the emphasis of Team USA to be built like an actual team. It's not likely DeRosa will start, so he's a perfect sub. He can play 2B, 3B, LF, or RF in the late innings without having the team miss a huge beat defensively, while also providing a quality bat.
Finally, as a Cubs fan, I can tell you DeRosa is exactly the kind of guy for whom you will thoroughly enjoy cheering. He has no apparent ego, always plays hard, does anything asked of him without complaint, and has tons of fun doing so. The team could do much worse than DeRosa, that's for sure.
Likable Mark DeRosa Added to Team USA originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 22 Dec 2008 13:20:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.