Cortes and Wainwright are 'All In' for Team USA

November 29th, 2022

While the Team USA lineup looks stacked for when the World Baseball Classic begins in March, there are still some question marks around who would make its rotation. On Tuesday, two of those spots were filled as Team USA announced that Yankees lefty Nestor Cortes and Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright were committing to the team.

Known for his signature mustache and funky, shimmying delivery, Cortes has been absolute dominant over the last two seasons with New York. Despite throwing a low-90s fastball, Cortes has used his cutter and slider to carve up the opposition to the tune of a 2.61 ERA in 251 1/3 IP over the last two seasons.

Meanwhile, Wainwright will be playing in the WBC for the first time in his career as he enters his final big league season. Just five wins shy of 200, Wainwright went 11-12 with a 3.71 ERA in his age-40 season last year. It could make for an uncomfortable game if we get a rematch of the 2017 WBC final between the U.S. and Puerto Rico: Wainwright's longtime batterymate, Yadier Molina, is set to manage Puerto Rico this time around.

Though rosters won't be finalized until later this winter -- and with Bryce Harper likely unable to play following Tommy John surgery -- this is how the U.S. roster is shaping up:

C: J.T. Realmuto, Will Smith
1B: Pete Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Trevor Story
SS: Tim Anderson
3B: Nolan Arenado, Bobby Witt Jr.
OF: Mookie Betts, Cedric Mullins, Mike Trout, Kyle Tucker
SP: Nestor Cortes, Merrill Kelly, Adam Wainwright
RP: David Bednar, Dillon Tate, Devin Williams

Team USA will begin its title defense on March 11 in Phoenix. It will play in Pool C against Mexico, Colombia, Canada and Great Britain.