The Dominican Republic has one of the World Baseball Classic’s most impressive offensive lineups. However, the pitching staff is not that threatening. The Dominican Republic start their run for the World Baseball Classic Championship this week at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They will compete in Pool C during the first round of the WBC, which also includes Venezuela, Spain, Puerto Rico.
The pitching staff for the Dominican Republic will be lead by San Diego Padres starting pitcher Edison Volquez. This marks Volquez’s second trip to the WBC with the Dominican Republic team. In the opening game loss in 2009, the starting pitcher gave up three unearned runs, on two hits, two walks and three strikeouts over three innings of work, and the Dominican team was eliminated in the first round.
Volquez recorded a 11-11 record with a 4.14 ERA, 1.451 WHIP, 174 strike outs in 182.2 innings of work for the Padres. The 29-year-old also manage to walk a career high 105 batters in 32 games.
The Barahona, Dominican Republic native will have a fairly good backend of the bullpen to help seal the deal on the close leads. Fellow MLB pitchers Fernando Rodney, Jose Valverde, and Santiago Casilla will all join Volquez in the WBC.
In addition, the impressive offense lead by the Dominican Republic’s best hitter, Robinson Cano, will keep the team in games, even though the pitching isn’t the best in the WBC.
Volquez and the Dominican Republic take on Venezuela, Thursday at 6:30 p.m. eastern in their first game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, ”Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google. To read more articles from Justin Soderberg, click here.