The World Baseball Classic is well underway at this point, with Venezuela’s come-from-behind victory over Italy officially putting an end to the first round of pool play.
Pool F — which features the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Venezuela — kicks off tonight with two power houses, DR and Puerto Rico, facing off at 9:00 p.m. ET in San Diego, California. Pool F also plays home to most of the Cleveland Indians players participating in the WBC. In fact, two of the Tribe’s biggest names in the tournament, Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor, are participating in that Dominican/Puerto Rico showcase.
With that in mind, before Pool F gets underway tonight, let’s take a look at how the 11 Indians players in the tournament have done so far.
Francisco Lindor, SS, Puerto Rico
Francisco Lindor’s home country of Puerto Rico may have the best infield in all of the WBC. Alongside the Tribe superstar, it also features Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, and the golden calved one, Mike Aviles.
Lindor is currently tied for the team lead in hits with five, home runs with two, and he has yet to strike out in the tournament — one of only two Puerto Rican players that can say that so for. The other, Kennys Vargas, only has three at-bats.
Most of Lindor’s accumulated stats came in one outstanding game on Sunday when the shortstop hit two bombs to lead Puerto Rico over Mexico. It culminated in this glorious bat-flip after he belted a home run that left Charros de Jalisco stadium.
Giovanny Urshela, 3B, Colombia
Cleveland Indians technically-no-longer-a-prospect Giovanny Urshela has had a quiet tournament so far, playing as Colombia’s primary third baseman. His two hits are tied for third on the Colombian team, as are his three strikeouts. He has yet to homer in the tournament, but only one teammate of managed to go yard before Colombia was eliminated.
Tyler Krieger, 2B, Israel
Team Israel’s unlikely advancement to the second round of the WBC is one of the best stories of the WBC so far, and Indians prospect Tyler Krieger is right at the center of it.
The 23-year-old is Cleveland’s lone representative on the cinderella squad, and his walk with the bases loaded against Korea on March 6 scored the first run of the tournament.
Chris Colabello, 1B, Italy
Chris Colabello is no stranger to the WBC, having played the part of hero for Italy in the 2013 tournament, but he will be in new territory when the regular season starts. He signed a minor-league deal with the Indians this offseason, and so far in the WBC, he is showing the power the Tribe are hoping for.
Both of Colabello’s two hits of the tournament (in 10 at-bats) have been for extra bases: a double a home run. Unfortunately, in losing the tiebreaker game against Venezuela, 4-3, Italy has been eliminated.
Carlos Santana, 1B, Dominican Republic
Carlos Santana may lead the Dominican Republic in hits so far, but he is not doing it in typical Carlos Santana fashion. The Slamtana we know and love has found success in either crushing home runs or drawing walks in his major-league career — he has done neither in his 15 WBC at-bats. Instead, he has one double and five singles.
Roberto Perez, C, Puerto Rico
There is not much to speak of in regards to ‘Berto. When you are on the same team as Yadier Molina, you’re not going to get a lot of playing time. But at least he’s got a great view of Francisco Lindor’s amazingness every day.
And he’s already drawn a walk.
Joseph Colon, RP, Puerto Rico
Joe Colon has pitched exactly one game so far this tournament, and it went okay. He allowed a hit, got a strikeout and his arm didn’t explode. Everybody wins.
Andrew Miller, RP, United States
Shao-Ching Chiang, RP, Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei’s short-lived run in the WBC ended with three-straight defeats, but at least Shao-Ching Chiang, the Indians’ only representative on the team, pitched a solid 4.1 innings in one of the losses.
Chiang came in after starting pitcher Chia-Hao Sung gave up four runs to the Netherlands last Wednesday. Chinese Taipei almost managed a comeback while Chiang held down the fort, but they ultimately fell, 6-5.