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Royals’ Hosmer to replace Teixeira in WBC
Question of the Day
Hosmer received a text message late Tuesday from Tony Clark of the players union, asking if he’d be interested in a spot on the roster. After getting a call from U.S. manager Joe Torre and receiving the blessing of the Royals, Hosmer quickly agreed to join the Americans.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Hosmer told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “Any chance you get to represent your country, you’re going to jump at the opportunity. So I’m very excited.”
Teixeira strained his right wrist while swinging off a tee Tuesday, shortly before the U.S. tied 4-4 with the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition game.
X-rays were negative and an MRI exam revealed a strain on the outside of Teixeira’s right forearm, near his wrist. He flew to New York City and was to be evaluated further Wednesday by Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and hand specialist Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday night in Tampa, Fla., that Teixeira would be out a minimum of 10 days.
“I certainly feel bad for Tex, but it’s one of those things, it just seems like it’s unavoidable,” Torre said Tuesday. “You never want to wish a thing like this upon any player, especially here in spring training.”
Hosmer left the Royals‘ spring training complex to catch up with the U.S. team on Wednesday, just in time for a team picture in Scottsdale, Ariz. The U.S. team was then scheduled to play its final tuneup against the Colorado Rockies before starting the tournament.
The Americans open Pool D play against Mexico on Friday night in Phoenix.
“I don’t know what the situation is or what my role is going to be,” Hosmer said, “but I’ll get over there and find out. I’m excited to get started.”
Not only is he already at camp in Arizona _ rather than having to fly from spring training in Florida _ but he is also a left-handed hitting first baseman. The U.S. team has lineup loaded with right-handed batters, and Torre said he would try to find someone to provide balance.
“Regular spring games don’t mean a dadgum thing,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “They’re playing in a tournament that means something, so it’s great experience.
“It’s playing with stars from different organizations,” Yost said. “There’s a lot you can learn in those types of situations, and it’s a competitive tournament that’s going to be watched by a lot of people, and it’s played to win. There’s a lot of benefits for a guy like Hos.”
Hosmer had a sensational rookie season in 2011, hitting .293 with 19 homers and 78 RBIs in 128 games. But he endured a maddening sophomore slump a year ago, his average plummeting to .232 with 14 homers and 60 RBIs in his first full season in the big leagues.
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