The problem with Team USA at First Base is not quite the problem that the St. Louis Cardinals have at short stop but it should be seen as a telling sign nevertheless.
When Mark Teixeira exited a game with a wrist injury this week, it was announced that he would be withdrawn from the roster for Team USA.
The news was announced today that Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer would replace him.
Why Hosmer? Why not Prince Fielder? The Tiger first baseman would be the best candidate for the job. Allen Craig is battling a sore shoulder at the moment or he would likely have been considered.
Hosmer batted a dismal .232 last season after finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting for the 2011 season. His being selected does not make any sense to me. He’s not a proven player like the rest of the American roster is. He’s not an All-Star. So why was he selected over Gold Glove-winning first baseman or All-Star first baseman?
Is it because teams are worried that their star players could get injured during a game? I don’t know. It is a fact that players get hurt. Some are freak accidents. Just ask Carl Pavano how often somebody injures their spleen while shoveling snow.
With his being named to the roster, Hosmer is the only guy that regularly plays first base. Yes, Team USA has Joe Mauer, Ben Zobrist, and Willie Bloomquist but they aren’t really a first baseman. Bloomquist, a veteran of 11 seasons, has only played first base for a grand total of 37 games. Zobrist, a veteran of 7 seasons, isn’t much better. The utilityman has seen more playing time at other positions as he’s played first base for a grand total of 17 games.
Hosmer is having a hot spring. I’ll give him credit for that but his selection to the team is just mind boggling.