On a World Baseball Classic team that has Adrian Gonzalez as its lead offensive threat and a big drop off after him, Mexico is glad to have Yovani Gallardo on their team.
The Mexican team gets underway on Thursday, March 7 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ari. Mexico will face the United States, Italy and Canada in a tough Pool D, during the first round.
Gallardo is the ace of the Mexican team and will have to be a big factor if they want to go deep into the tournament. Right behind him, Gallardo has his fellow Milwaukee Brewers teammate, Marco Estrada.
This marks the second invitation to participate in the World Baseball Classic for team Mexico, the first came in 2009, however Gallardo turned the invitation down. Instead, he decided to get ready for the season with the Brewers.
Gallardo will get things started and has a bullpen to hand it over to, anchored by Sergio Romo of the San Francisco Giants.
In 2012 for the Brewers, Gallardo was 16-9 with a 3.66 ERA, 1.304 WHIP, 204 strike outs in 33 games. The 27-year-old tossed 204 innings with a 9.0 K/9 and 2.52 K/BB ratios. Gallardo led a Brewers team who struck out the most batters in Major League Baseball. His swing and miss pitching ability will be helpful, if Mexico wants to win.
Team Mexico will face Italy in game one on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET and USA in game two on Friday at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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 Rant Sports articles from Justin Soderberg, click here.