Too Much, Too Soon?
pitchers are off to rocky starts--and some managers blame the World Baseball
Classic. "You can go down the list," says A's skipper Ken Macha, whose
closer, Huston Street (7.94 ERA through Sunday), has struggled with his
velocity since appearing in three games for the U.S. That list includes the
? Bartolo Colon,
He allowed one run in 14 innings for the Dominican Republic, but he was winless
with a 7.07 ERA before landing on the DL with inflammation in his right
? Esteban Loaiza,
Mexico's ace gave up 17 earned runs in his first 182/3 innings for Oakland.
? Jake Peavy,
He was 1--2 with a 4.32 ERA through four starts after logging eight innings for
? Johan Santana,
The Venezuelan threw 81/3 innings for his country, then went winless in four
starts for Minnesota.
? Carlos Zambrano,
The workhorse made two appearances for Venezuela and lost some velocity off his
Some managers and
coaches think the WBC disrupted pitchers' preparations for the season.
"Everyone was so jazzed up, it was like a playoff atmosphere," says
Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson. "Then, with 10 days to go in spring
training, those guys came back, and it was like, 'Take a breather.' That's the
time you've got to get to your peak instead of coming down from your
A few pitchers
apparently came out of the tournament unfazed, however, such as Team USA's
Dontrelle Willis (1--0, 2.92 ERA for the Marlins) and Canada's Erik Bedard
(4--0, 2.77 ERA for Baltimore). "Teams might be more against it than
ever," says Nationals reliever Mike Stanton, "but I don't think any
players are going to shy away from the [next WBC] because a few guys struggled
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