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Most star pitchers missing from US WBC roster

Most star pitchers missing from US WBC roster

NEW YORK (AP) Toronto's R.A. Dickey heads a starting pitching staff missing David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Cain on the preliminary U.S. roster for the World Baseball Classic.

Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira and the Mets' David Wright are among 27 players on the roster announced Thursday. The roster also includes Joe Mauer and Jimmy Rollins, and the bullpen is headed by Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel.

Final 28-man rosters are due Feb. 20 and must include at least 13 pitchers and two catchers. The U.S., managed by Joe Torre, opens against Mexico on March 8, then plays Italy and Canada to complete its first-round group.

Venezuela's roster includes AL Triple Crown winner MVP Miguel Cabrera, World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval and pitcher Felix Hernandez. The Dominican Republic has Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes, Adrian Beltre and Hanley Ramirez, and Puerto Rico has Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina.

Chien-Ming Wang is on Taiwan, and Bruce Chen is the first major leaguer on China's team. Cuba's roster does not include any defectors in the major leagues. Japan also does not have any major leaguers.

Italy's roster includes Francisco Cervelli (born in Venezuela), Jason Grilli (born in Oak Hill, Mich.) and Nick Punto (born in San Diego).

The U.S. roster:

Pitchers: Jeremy Affeldt (San Francisco), Heath Bell (Arizona), Mitchell Boggs (St. Louis), Steve Cishek (Miami), Tim Collins (Kansas City), R.A. Dickey (Toronto), Luke Gregerson (San Diego), Derek Holland (Texas), Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta), Kris Medlen (Atlanta), Chris Perez (Cleveland), Glen Perkins (Minnesota), Vinnie Pestano (Cleveland), Ryan Vogelsong (San Francisco)

Catchers: J.P. Arencibia (Toronto), Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee), Joe Mauer (Minnesota)

Infielders: Willie Bloomquist (Arizona), Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati), Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia), Mark Teixeira (N.Y. Yankees), David Wright (N.Y. Mets)

Outfielders: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Adam Jones (Baltimore), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami), Shane Victorino (Boston), Ben Zobrist (Tampa Bay).

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On the fourth anniversary of his massive contract, a look at Chris Davis' struggles

On the fourth anniversary of his massive contract, a look at Chris Davis' struggles

From 2012 to 2015, Chris Davis was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball.

He led the American League in home runs twice, won a Silver Slugger and finished third in MVP voting in 2013. His production earned him a massive seven-year, $161 million contract extension, and today, on the four-year anniversary of the agreement things have tailed off quite a bit. 

"He's been struggling now for years," Orioles GM Mike Elias said at the Winter Meetings. "There are a lot of reasons for that and we continue to look into it but the reality is, he is under contract and it's something not to take lightly, and because of that we're going to be focused on getting the most out of him that we can. But it's a very frustrating situation for him and for us."

In the 617 games before his extension, Davis hit .257 with 161 home runs, 425 RBI and 788 strikeouts.

Since signing his deal, Davis has hit .198 with 92 home runs, 230 RBI and 745 strikeouts in 518 games. 

The Orioles have finished fifth in the AL East three out of the four seasons following Davis' contract, and while it's hard to imagine things getting worse, the Orioles still have his salary on the books for another three years. 

Maybe Davis has an extra gear in him to spark a career-revival as he enters his age-34 season. That would certainly help the Orioles get back to relevancy, but after two straight seasons of hitting below .200, it's hard to expect much from Davis moving forward. 

But hey, at least he's using his money for good. In early November, Davis and his wife donated a record $3 million to UMD Children's Hospital to help the hospital expand. 

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Trey Mancini admires Ryan Zimmerman, wants to see Orioles through rebuild

Trey Mancini admires Ryan Zimmerman, wants to see Orioles through rebuild

Trey Mancini wants to be the next Ryan Zimmerman...kind of.

Though the two play completely different positions (right field vs. first base) for two different teams, Mancini saw what Zimmerman did to help develop the Nationals into World Series champions and wants to do the same in Baltimore. 

"[Zimmerman] stuck it out [in D.C.], he was their first draft pick and was there through a lot of good times and bad," Mancini said in an interview on "The Leadoff Spot" on MLB Network Radio on Wednesday. "I think there's something really admirable in that...you see what Zimmerman means to D.C."

The Orioles drafted Mancini in the eighth round of the 2013 MLB Draft; since then he's played three full seasons in the league, though 2019 could be described as his "breakout" campaign.

Last year Mancini hit .291 in 154 games, leading the Orioles with a career-high 35 home runs and 97 RBI. 

Mancini plans to stay in Baltimore through their rebuild, not only because it's the team that drafted him, but also because he loves the city and all of the people in the organization. 

"It's always hard to see yourself somewhere else," Mancini said. "It could make it sweeter if you're there through some rough times and through a rebuild, and come out on the other side...a goal of mine later on is to be there when we're winning again." 

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