As we arrive on the cusp of the World Baseball Classic’s quarterfinal round, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. WBC Update
Following a day that saw Puerto Rico throw eight combined perfect innings in their defeat of Israel, there are four matches on the docket for today: Venezuela (2-0) will face Nicaragua (0-3) at 11am CST on FS2, though the latter team has been eliminated from quarterfinals contention at this point. Also on FS2, Canada (1-1) will face Colombia (1-1) at 2pm CST. This evening, Israel (1-1) will try to right the ship after yesterday’s shutout loss to Puerto Rico against the Dominican Republic (1-1) at 6pm CST on FS1. Also on FS1 will be Mexico (1-1) vs. Great Britain (1-2) at 9pm EST. The first quarterfinal match, featuring Australia against Cuba, will take place at 5am CST tomorrow morning on FS2.
2. How long will Quintana be out?
Yesterday, a report emerged that Mets lefty Jose Quintana would be shut down for three months due to the stress fracture in one of his ribs, though GM Billy Eppler later pushed back against it, noting that the club is still talking to doctors about potential next steps. Losing Quintana for a significant amount of time would be a major blow to a Mets rotation that is set to heavily rely on aging pitchers who have struggled to remain healthy in recent years: Justin Verlander, 40, pitched just six innings 2020-2021 before his dominant return from Tommy John surgery last season. Max Scherzer, 38, is coming off his lowest full season innings count of his career (145 1/3) in 2022, while Carlos Carrasco, 36, eclipsed 100 innings for the first time since 2018 last year with his 152 innings of work.
The Mets have a strong contingent of depth, headlined by lefty David Peterson, righty Tylor Megill and left-hander Joey Lucchesi (whose workload will be monitored in his first season post-Tommy John surgery). Presumably, the Mets will make a more formal announcement Quintana’s recovery timetable once they’ve finished gathering opinions, but for now all eyes are on their depth options to see who claims the final rotation spot to begin the season. Peterson and Megill are the favorites, and both have pitched well so far in camp.
3. MLBTR Chat Today
Do you have any questions regarding your favorite team or the larger baseball world as the 30 clubs gear up for Spring Training and make their last minute offseason moves? MLBTR’s Steve Adams will be…
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