Provisional WBC rosters revealed

Updated: January 20, 2009, 1:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The thought of Derek Jeter and Dustin Pedroia turning double plays together is probably enough to make Yankees and Red Sox fans cringe.

World Baseball Classic, here they come.

On opposite sides of the New York-Boston rivalry, Jeter and Pedroia could make up the United States' middle infield at the WBC in March.

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Jimmy Rollins, Evan Longoria and Grady Sizemore also were among 43 players on the provisional U.S. roster. All 16 teams in the tournament had until Monday to submit lists of up to 45 players under consideration for their final rosters, which will be whittled down to 28 spots.

Not all of the players chosen to provisional rosters will get to play, however. Vladimir Guerrero was chosen for the roster of the Dominican Republic, but he is recovering from offseason knee surgery. Angels general manager Tony Reagins said he doesn't want him to play, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"It's a provisional roster. It doesn't mean they're going to play," he said.

Teams can block a player recuperating from injury from participating. Reagins said, according to the newspaper, that he would use that right "and not just in the case of Vlad."

Catcher Mike Napoli, who is coming off shoulder surgery, was selected to Italy's team and will likely be held out of the WBC.

Philadelphia reliever J.C. Romero was on Puerto Rico's roster despite having to serve a 50-game major league suspension following a positive drug test caused by a contaminated supplement. The MLB suspension starts only with the regular season.

Final rosters will be picked by Feb. 24. They must include at least 13 pitchers and two catchers.

Yankees star Alex Rodriguez was included on the Dominican Republic's provisional roster, as expected. A-Rod played for the United States during the first WBC in 2006.

This year's U.S. squad could feature Derrek Lee and Kevin Youkilis at first base; Pedroia and Brian Roberts at second; Jeter and Rollins at shortstop; and Longoria, Chipper Jones and David Wright at third.

Brian McCann, A.J. Pierzynski, Brian Schneider and Chris Iannetta are the possible catchers.

Outfielders included besides Sizemore were Ryan Braun, Curtis Granderson, Brad Hawpe, Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Quentin, Shane Victorino and Vernon Wells.

Mark DeRosa was listed as a utility player.

Scott Kazmir, John Lackey, Roy Oswalt and Jake Peavy are some of the top starting pitchers under consideration. The bullpen could be anchored by closer Joe Nathan.

First-round WBC games will be played in Tokyo, Mexico City, Toronto and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Defending champion Japan faces China in the March 5 opener.

Second-round action shifts to San Diego and Miami, and the semifinals and finals will be played at Dodger Stadium.

In the inaugural Classic in 2006, a U.S. team loaded with All-Stars failed to reach the semifinals, and Japan beat Cuba for the title. The 2006 WBC drew 486 players, about 235 from major league clubs.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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