Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Booker, Rasmus joining Longoria in Taiwan

Monroeville's Chris Booker and Russell County High's Colby Rasmus will be teammates of former Biscuit Evan Longoria on Team USA in the International Baseball Federation World Cup, which will be Nov. 6-18 in Taiwan.

USA Baseball announced the 24-man roster today. The roster is made up of top professionals not currently on a major-league team's 25-man roster.

Booker is with the Washington Nationals and reached the major leagues this season. Rasmus was a first-round draft pick in 2005 of the St. Louis Cardinals, is the team's No. 1 prospect and was a Texas League All-Star at Class AA Springfield this year. Outfielder Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds, who was named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year, is also on the U.S. squad.

The roster includes two players who were also on the team last year that qualified the United States to play in the 2008 Beijing Olympics: pitcher Heath Phillips of the Chicago White Sox and pitcher Lee Gronkiewicz of the Toronto Blue Jays. Former Biscuit Jeff Ridgway also was on the team, which beat Cuba in Havana for the qualifying tournament championship.

Roster (major-league team) ...
LHP -- Jerry Blevins (Oakland), Brian Duensing (Minnesota), Neil Musser (Kansas City), Josh Outman (Philadelphia), Heath Phillips (Chicago White Sox)
RHP -- Chris Booker (Washington), Lee Gronkiewicz (Toronto), Jeff Karstens (N.Y. Yankees), Chris Perez (St. Louis), Steven Shell (L.A. Angels), Jeff Stevens (Cleveland), Dallas Trahem (Detroit)

C -- Bryan Anderson (St. Louis), Jason Jaramillo (Philadelphia)
IF -- Brian Bixler (Pittsburgh), Michael Hollimon (Detroit), Andy LaRoche (L.A. Dodgers), Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay), Jayson Nix (Colorado), Steven Pearce (Pittsburgh)
OF -- Jay Bruce (Cincinnati), Tyler Colvin (Chicago Cubs), Colby Rasmus (St. Louis), Delwyn Young (L.A. Dodgers)

USA tournament schedule ...
Nov. 7 vs. Mexico, 6 p.m. Taiwan time, 4 a.m. CST
Nov. 8 vs. Panama, noon Taiwan, 10 p.m. Nov. 7 CST
Nov. 9 vs. Italy, noon Taiwan, 10 p.m. Nov. 8 CST
Nov. 10 vs. Japan, 6 p.m. Taiwan, 4 a.m. CST
Nov. 11 vs. Spain, 6 p.m. Taiwan, 4 a.m. CST
Nov. 13 vs. South Africa, noon Taiwan, 10 p.m. Nov. 12 CST
Nov. 14 vs. Taiwan, 6 p.m. Taiwan, 4 a.m. CST

Group B includes Cuba, Australia, the Netherlands, Thailand, South Korea, Canada, Germany and Venezuela.

Nov. 16, quarterfinals
Nov. 17, semifinals
Nov. 18, championship

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