Dodgers in the 2017 World Baseball Classic

Photo: Sarah Wexler

The fourth World Baseball Classic has come to an end, with USA emerging as the champion. Love, hate, or remain indifferent toward the tournament, it produced some really exciting baseball and some really memorable moments.

Ten Dodgers (six currently on the 40-man roster, four minor leaguers) were on World Baseball Classic rosters for five different countries. Here’s how they did.

Israel

Ike Davis: 8-for-17, 2 2B, 3B, 4 BB, 4 K

Davis, signed by the Dodgers this offseason to a minor league contract, started all but one of Israel’s games as the designated hitter. He was one of the team’s offensive leaders, reaching base in every game and driving in several runs. Here’s Davis with the life-sized Mensch on a Bench, Israel’s unofficial mascot that haunts my dreams:

Dean Kremer: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Kremer, the Dodgers’ 2016 14th-round draft pick and one of the few actual Israeli citizens on Team Israel, only made one appearance in the World Baseball Classic. He closed out Israel’s first-round match with Chinese Taipei, entering the game with a runner on second, one out and a 15-5 lead. His inherited runner scored on a double by Chih-Hsien Chiang, who came in to score himself following two singles. Kremer then induced a pop out, and sealed Israel’s victory with a strikeout.

Italy

Drew Maggi: 1-for-4, 2B, 1 BB, 2 K

Maggi walked as a pinch-hitter in Italy’s first game, and scored a run as a pinch runner in their second game. He didn’t play in the third game, but he got the start in left field in the Italy-Venezuela play-in game. He doubled.

Rob Segedin: 3-for-13, HR, 2B, 3 BB, 3 K

Segedin started every game for Team Italy, making three starts in left field and one in right. He drove in a pair of runs in Italy’s first game with a two-run shot off of Yovani Gallardo.

Mexico

Adrián González: 1-for-12, 1 BB, 2 K

González, who started all three of Mexico’s games at first base, struggled in the World Baseball Classic, getting just one hit.

It was a pretty rough WBC for Mexico overall. They got off to a bad start, blowing a five-run lead in the ninth inning against Italy without recording a single out. Since Italy, Mexico and Venezuela all went 1-2 in the first round, two of the teams had to play an extra game to determine who would advance to the second round. The WBC’s metric for deciding which teams that would be is, for some reason, runs allowed per defensive innings (excluding the matches against 3-0 Puerto Rico). Here’s where the real trouble began.

Since Mexico never recorded an out in that ninth inning against Italy, they technically only played 17 defensive innings, not 18, and thus had a worse runs allowed per defensive innings than Venezuela. However, the WBC originally calculated Mexico’s using 18 innings, and had informed Mexico that if they beat Venezuela by two or more runs, they would be in the play-in game. Eventually, the WBC realized their mistake and, in spite of Mexico’s protest, awarded the spot to Venezuela. González had some thoughts about that whole brouhaha:

Guess we won’t be seeing A-Gon in the 2021 WBC.

Sergio Romo: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 K, 1 BB

The Dodgers’ newly acquired Romo made two appearances for Mexico. The first one went considerably better than the second one. Against Italy, he pitched a scoreless inning, not allowing any base runners and picking up a strikeout.

Against Venezuela, Romo entered the game in the sixth inning with two on, two out and a five-run lead. He walked Martín Prado to load the bases, but escaped the jam by getting Miguel Cabrera to ground out. Romo stayed on for the seventh inning, but didn’t manage to record an out. He allowed a single, then Víctor Martínez took him deep to narrow Mexico’s lead to three runs. Romo gave up two more base hits, and was lifted before he could record an out. One of those runners would come in to score and was thus charged to him.

Julio Urías: N/A

Urías was in the reserve pitchers pool for Mexico. Since Mexico did not advance past the first round, Urías never appeared for them.

Alex Verdugo: 5-for-14, 2 K

Verdugo, the Dodgers’ 2014 second-round draft pick, was Mexico’s starting center fielder in all three of their games (but shifted to right field in each game). He tied with Japhet Amador for most hits on Mexico’s roster, though all of Verdugo’s hits were singles.

Netherlands

Kenley Jansen: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K

Jansen, who was in the reserve pitchers pool for the Netherlands, did not appear in the first two rounds, but joined the team for the semi-finals in Dodger Stadium. He pitched the ninth inning of a tie game against Puerto Rico, and looked really, really good, striking out the first two batters on the minimum number of pitches before getting Ángel Pagán to ground out.

Puerto Rico

Enrique Hernández: 4-for-15, 3B, 1 BB, 3 K

Kiké outlasted all other Dodgers in the tournament, going all the way with a Puerto Rico team that was undefeated until the final round, where they lost to the United States. Hernández appeared in six games for Puerto Rico, making three starts. Three of his four hits came in one game, as he drove in two of Puerto Rico’s nine runs against Italy.

We’ll see how long he keeps the bleach-blonde look (that is apparently the cause of a hair dye shortage in Puerto Rico):

https://twitter.com/kikehndez/status/843684470553231361

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times and FanGraphs. She recently earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.