2017 World Baseball Classic Report (Day 12)
It has always been a major fear in every tournament that uses professional players as injuries have been the massive barrier for participation in tournaments.
It has been talked about multiple times throughout the World Baseball Classic as MLB teams are unwilling to give up their best players.
One of the biggest reasons for that unwillingness to let their players go to the tournament is the always present danger of injuries.
There is always a chance of injuries even in Spring Training and they can change the outlook of a team for a long time depending on the severity of the injury.
Teams can live with an injury if it is done while the player is getting ready for the season with the team that is paying them.
That is a part of the game but when a player gets hurt away from their team it is a less easy to stomach.
The player went down while playing for a team that doesn’t pay them and the teams lose a player without that player doing anything for them.
It leaves a lot of teams a bit stand-offish when a big tournament like the WBC comes along as they don’t want to see a player lost for the season when they were at some other tournament with another team.
It is the same in every sport with major tournaments and has also become a reason for a lot of players to avoid attending for fear that their professional teams would not be happy to see their massive investments hurt in those games.
For the World Baseball Classic, that danger is slightly bigger as the players that do attend are far from midseason form.
They are just getting warmed up and are a part of Spring Training just trying to get their footing and get their fitness past the last little bit they need to go through the marathon MLB season.
Injuries in Spring Training are common and so that is likely the same thing in the World Baseball Classic.
That danger and the fear from teams or players has already come true in a number of cases and the past few days have been the worst.
In Day 12 the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Dalton Pompey was set to be held out for an extended period of time due to concussion protocol.
Pompey isn’t the greatest loss for the Jays though as he may not have even made the team this year.
Still, he is a prospect that had a shot and now his future is uncertain with the Jays as a concussion can be recovered from this season or may give him bigger issues in the future.
Pompey was not the only player to be hurt this tournament though as early in the tournament Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez hurt his knee.
It became a big concern for the Royals as the former World Series MVP is a leader on the team.
Luckily for the Royals, and for the tournament, Perez seems to be fine and will be ready for opening day.
More recently the Miami Marlins may have lost a big piece of their team as Martin Prado suffered a hamstring injury against the USA.
Prado has left the Venezuelan team and returned to Spring Training with the Marlins to undergo tests for his hamstring.
It looks like he will miss some time although it is not likely a season-ending injury but it is a concern for the team.
That will continue to be a major concern for teams and for the World Baseball Classic and it could be a big thing for the tournament in the future.
With the major concern being the interest from North America these injuries don’t help their case.
The injuries that come in this tournament don’t help convince the MLB teams that they should release their players to play for their national teams.
It also doesn’t convince players that it is necessarily a smart idea to participate with their countries.
That leaves the national teams without their best players and leave the fans without their favourite players to cheer for.
There is little that can be done about injuries other than hoping that it doesn’t affect any more players or has a bigger effect on a team.
If it does then the tournament will only take a bigger hit with MLB teams continuing to pull away and take it less seriously while they take their fans with them.
Dominican Republic 3-0 Venezuela
– Both teams started the second round poorly as they took losses but this was their chance to get back into the hunt and the Dominicans did just that taking the win while the Venezuelans lost their second making life difficult for them going forward
USA vs. Puerto Rico (Friday, March 17th; 10:00 pm ET)
– With both teams beginning their second round with a win this is likely a battle for first place as the winner stay undefeated in this round and if that wasn’t enough motivation the ties between this country should add something extra to the game