Merrill Kelly gets the ball for Team USA tonight, as they take on Japan in the final of the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The Japanese team will be on an emotional high, after their ninth inning comeback against Mexico last night - but will they be able to ride that, or are they going to come crashing down? I imagine everyone will be available on both sides, so both managers will have a quick hook. It’s a tremendous honor for Kelly, and it’s amazing to consider that just four years ago, he was a 30-year-old who’d never even thrown a single pitch in the major leagues. Quite the redemption tale, no matter what may happen in Miami tonight.
This will be the gameday thread for that contest, as well as the one against the Angels at Salt River Fields. However, It’s possible it may end up being the only game, because the forecast this afternoon for Phoenix is looking a little moist. Still, we’ll see what happens.
- Ketel Marte, 2B
- Lourdes Gurriel, DH
- Josh Rojas, 3B
- Christian Walker, 1B
- Kyle Lewis, LF
- Corbin Carroll, CF
- Nick Ahmed, SS
- Pavin Smith, RF
- Gabriel Moreno, C
+ RHP Zach Davies, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Miguel Castro, RHP Kevin Ginkel, LHP Joe Mantiply
At the time of writing, we are also waiting to hear more on Carson Kelly’s health situation, which became an issue after he was hit in the right forearm yesterday. He described his level of concern as “not minimal.” We’ll see if more information becomes available before we go to press.
[Update] And, there we go:
Carson Kelly has a fractured forearm, manager Torey Lovullo said. He’ll obviously be out a while, though Lovullo did not offer a timetable.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) March 21, 2023
Definitely cross him off the Opening Day roster. The plan to slowly ease Gabriel Moreno into the starter’s job has probably gone by the wayside: he is now likely the everyday starter, with the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, Jose Herrera, now acting as backup.