Is Derek Holland the Right Choice to Pitch Against Team Canada?
The pitching rotation for the United States at the World Baseball Classic was announced and Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland is scheduled to start against Team Canada. With other lefties like Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler not scheduled to start at all in the first round of the classic, does Holland really deserve it?
Team Canada has a very good lineup anchored by Joey Votto, Justin Morneau and Brett Lawrie. Out of the three lefties in America’s rotation, I believe Holland is the worst choice to go up against the Canadians.
Gonzalez proved just how good he is last season when he won 20 games and led the Washington Nationals rotation once Stephen Strasburg was shut down. Detwiler is also from that Nationals rotation and he had a very good season last year, but he was definitely the number four or five starter on that team.
Maybe Joe Torre is assuming that the US team will make it into the second round and is saving Gonzalez for the first game then, but at this point, I don’t think you can assume America will move on.
As I said, Canada has a very good lineup and Mexico has a very good rotation. Italy won’t pose a threat to anyone in this pool. RA Dickey is scheduled to start against Mexico and Ryan Vogelsong against Italy.
I think Torre needs to do everything he can to win every single one of America’s pool play games. That means throwing Gonzalez against Canada instead of Holland.