Jimmy Rollins to play for Team USA in World Baseball Classic

Posted: January 18, 2013

Jimmy Rollins is a member of Team USA again.

The Phillies shortstop has agreed to play in his second World Baseball Classic, which means he will be away from the team's Clearwater, Fla. training site for most of spring training. Rollins will be the Phillies' lone representative on Team USA, which announced its provisional roster Thursday. He is also the only shortstop on the roster.

When Rollins played for Team USA in 2009, he split time with the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter. This is the first time Jeter will not participate in the tournament as he recovers from the fractured left foot he suffered during the Yankees' American League Championship Series loss to Detroit in October.

Former Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino, who signed with the Boston Red Sox last month, will also make his second straight appearance on the team. Rollins had great success in his last WBC, batting .417 (10-for-24) with a double, two triples, a home run and four stolen bases in eight games.

Manager Joe Torre's coaching staff will include former Phillies Larry Bowa and Dale Murphy. Bowa was a coach for Torre when he was the manager of the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers and Murphy played for Torre in Atlanta. The interaction between Bowa and Rollins should be entertaining for Team USA members.

Team Canada will be best represented by players from the Phillies organization. Outfielder Tyson Gillies, infielder Pete Orr and pitcher Phillippe Aumont have agreed to play.

"Honored to be selected for @baseballcanada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Absolutely can't wait!" Gillies tweeted.

Phillies minor leaguers Lucas Rojos, Cesar Jiminez and Tim Kennelly will also participate in the WBC. Rojos, a second baseman, will play for Brazil; Jimenez, a lefthanded pitcher, will play for Venezuela; and Kennelly, a catcher/infielder, will play for Australia.

The WBC is scheduled to begin March 2 and will conclude with the March 19 championship game at San Francisco's AT&T Park. Japan won the first two WBC titles in 2006 and 2009.

Contact Bob Brookover at bbrookover@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @brookob.

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