U.S. baseball roster finalized -- again
Two former major leaguers were among the four players added earlier today to the Beijing-bound U.S. Olympic baseball team. Three are replacements for players who were injured or called up to the big leagues over the weekend. The fourth fills out the 24-man squad.
Colorado Rockies infielder Jayson Nix, currently playing for the team's triple A affiliate, was named to the final spot on the team. Former San Francisco Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz, along with minor league pitchers Jeremy Cummings of Tampa Bay and Brian Duensing of Minnesota, were selected as replacement players.
The three take roster spots abandoned by White Sox pitcher Clayton Richard and Giants pitcher Geno Espineli, who recently were promoted to the majors, and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus, who is injured.
Schierholtz, hitting .310 with 13 homers and 62 RBI at triple-A Fresno, has the most big-league experience of the four, having hit .304 in 112 at-bats last season. Nix and Duensing, meanwhile, both played for Team USA in last fall's World Cup, when the U.S. beat Cuba to win its first World Cup in 33 years.
Also back on the team is Texas Rangers prospect Taylor Teagarden. The catcher was among the original selections to the team, but lost his spot over the weekend after being called up to the big leagues. When the Rangers optioned him back to the minors on Monday, he wound up back on the Olympic team.
-- Kevin Baxter
Photo: Jayson Nix of the Colorado Rockies breaks up a double play against Adam Kennedy of the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 1 in St. Louis. Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images