WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
Which player lost his Mets place due to the World Baseball Classic?
Catching the eye in Spring Training is a key factor and the Big Apple team have a roster decision to make.
The fifth edition of the World Baseball Classic has been widely regarded as the best one yet, featuring unforgettable games like the one between Mexico and Japan, as well as remarkable catches that prevented home runs. As the tournament drew to a close with a thrilling game between the United States and Japan, the Asian team prevailing, it is certain to be remembered for its high level of competition. But despite the excitement of the tournament, some players who represented their countries have suffered serious consequences.
Mets’ Escobar under threat from Baty
Edwin Díaz of Puerto Rico, José Altuve of Venezuela, and Freddie Freeman of Canada all sustained injuries while defending the legacy of their nations. And then there is Eduardo Escobar, who is likely to feel the effects of participating in the Classic.
Escobar left Spring Training for his team, the New York Mets, to represent Venezuela in the most important competition at the international level. His absence has been taken advantage of by prospect Brett Baty, who stepped forward to take over third base.
In 38 at-bats during this period that is about to end, Baty is hitting .342/.468/.447 with a .916 OPS. The 23-year-old made his debut in the Major League Baseball in third place last year while Escobar was injured and had seven hits, including two home runs, before his time with the club was cut short by a torn ligament in his thumb.
When Mike Puma of the New York Post asked Escobar how he looked on his return to the Mets, the Venezuelan replied:
“I don’t know. For me, I came here with the idea that I’m working hard and controlling what I can and working and seeing what happens.”
Baty, on the other hand, has highlighted that there is still more than a week left before the Mets have to finalize the rosters and he cannot afford to relax.
“I just think I’ve been a lot more consistent, but I always thought I could make all the plays at third base. These last two weeks have been a lot more consistent and I think that’s the most important thing in the big leagues. You can do it one night, but then you have to come back and do it the next night too. So being as consistent as possible has been my goal, so I feel like I’ve done a good job of that.”
Escobar’s performance in the WBC
In 10 turns with the wood Escobar hit only one home run. Eugenio Suárez acted most of the time as the starter at third base.
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