Will Nolan Arenado be able to play in the World Baseball Classic final? Injury status
Fans of Team USA can rest a little easier as they prepare for the final against Japan, with news confirming that one of their stars is good to go ahead of the big game.
Following some degree of doubt about whether he would be able to play, Team USA has been given a boost with reports indicating that the third baseman will in fact take the field after he was hit by a pitch on his right hand during the side’s semifinal victory over Cuba.
Nolan Arenado will face Japan
According to reports, Nolan Arenado is good to go after both Team USA and the St. Louis Cardinals - his MLB team - confirmed that X-rays taken on Sunday night did not reveal any damage to his throwing hand after he was hit by a pitch. Indeed, Cardinals manager, Oliver Marmol, said that Nolan Arenado would likely be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s championship game in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Needless to say, this is very good news for the Americans given that we have seen a tournament that’s been heavily impacted by injuries. From Houston Astros star Jose Altuve, who suffered a fractured thumb which subsequently required and will now see him missing the start of the MLB season, to New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who ruptured his right knee during Puerto Rico’s celebration after he closed a win against the Dominican Republic - he will miss the entire season - it’s been a tricky time for MLB’s clubs as they watch their stars play on the international stage.
Though Nolan Arenado is OK the injury debate continues
One of the key components in Team USA’s run to the finals, Arenado is currently leading the team with nine hits and one RBI in six games. Of course, there’s also been his teammate, Paul Goldschmidt, who has been exemplary in offense with his .517 on-base percentage through six games, not to mention his two-run homer in the said same semifinal win against Cuba, which essentially turned the tide. This is all to say, that with Arenado back we can revert to the title of one of Shakespeare’s plays: All’s well that ends well.
Of course, it must be said that the risk of injury is and always will be a concern for any professional club in any professional sport when it comes to allowing their players to play in international tournaments. From FIFA to FIBA, there is always going to be the chance that by giving a player the opportunity to represent his country - a true honor - said player may come back with an injury. If we consider the Cardinals, there was always going to be an increased probability with 17 players in the WBC, that someone might get hurt. Fortunately, it hasn’t really been the case. Yet, when all is said and done, is there really a middle ground here when national pride and prestige is at stake? For us, it seems like something that simply comes with the territory.