Will Infante play in the World Baseball Classic?
Among the surprises with last week’s unveiling of the World Baseball Classic provisional rosters was only two Tigers on Team Venezuela. It wasn’t as big of a surprise as, say, no Tigers on Team USA, but Detroit had candidates beyond Miguel Cabrera and Anibal Sanchez. Omar Infante, in particular, was much rumored for a spot on the club. The one obstacle was the fact that the Venezuelan infield is pretty stacked.
Whether something has changed is up in the air. A tweet from the man in charge of the Venezuela baseball federation suggested Infante is joining the squad.
Omar Infante hasta ahora el jugador 21 al WBCI. Esperamos la incorporación de los otros 7 para presentar oficialmente el equipo.
— Edwin Zerpa Pizzorno (@EdwinZerpa_FVB) January 21, 2013
I double checked with two baseball writers in Venezuela, and they both said it’s legit, that Infante will be the 21st player on the roster (their provisional roster had just 20).
Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday afternoon that while there have been rumors it would happen, there’s nothing official yet. At this point, that might just be a matter of time.
One potential reason for the delay might have been Infante’s offseason recovery from the left wrist injury he suffered in Game 4 of the World Series. He was reportedly cleared to begin playing winter ball for Caribes de Anzoategui last week, and he’s on track to be ready for full work in Spring Training.
A report from the Venezuelan sports publication Lider en Deportes suggested Infante could play some outfield in the World Baseball Classic, a throwback to his younger days as a superutility player before he became an everyday second baseman again a couple years ago. That, however, is way unofficial, and it could depend on the rest of Venezuela’s infield. Pablo Sandoval was reportedly hospitalized with colitis, but rejoined his winter league team a few days ago.