Astros send top reliever to Team USA

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Team USA roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic is slowly taking shape.

The roster features players such as JT Realmuto, Will Smith, Paul Goldschmidt, Tim Anderson, Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado, Bobby Witt Jr., Mike Trout, Cedric Mullins and others; while the rotation now has Adam Wainwright, Logan Webb, Nestor Cortes and Merrill Kelly.

What about the bullpen?

Well, he becomes a great addition to Houston Astros closer to Ryan Pressly.

In fact, Pressly will likely be the closest to the MLB-hosted tournament.

David Bednar, Dillon Tate and Devin Williams have also confirmed their presence as relievers for Team USA.

Having Pressly on board is huge for manager Mark DeRosa.

The future 34-year-old has been wonderful for the 2022 World Series-winning Astros.

He had a 2.98 ERA and 2.31 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) in 48.1 innings this year.

Relying heavily on his breaking and off-speed tricks rather than his relatively modest fastball, Pressly struck out 65 batters.

A proven lock

If his regular-season performance wasn’t enough, Team USA will have a closer with a playoff-proven brilliance.

This year, he hasn’t scored in 10 playoff appearances, spanning 11 innings.

Whenever the Astros needed him to get big outs, he got away with it, even if it wasn’t in the ninth inning (his usual habitat).

Having a pitcher like Pressly in the back of the bullpen will incredibly increase Team USA’s chances of winning their second straight WBC title after the one they won in 2017.

Right now, we can confidently say that the formation and the bullpen are, without a doubt, the strongest units on the roster.

The rotation isn’t too bad either: as a result, the USA are shaping up to be one of the tournament’s early favorites.

Sports Grp2

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