Guthrie to represent Team USA
O's right-hander will participate in first Classic tournament
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Just when Jeremy Guthrie was getting comfortable as an Oriole, he'll get to try on another uniform. Guthrie, Baltimore's staff ace, learned on Tuesday that he's been named to Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, an honor that ranks among the top achievements of the former first-round pick's young career.
"It's a great honor to have been considered and then selected," Guthrie said. "I'm very excited to wear USA across the chest, and to be surrounded by the type of players that will be on our team as well as the opposing teams."
Guthrie, who has racked up a 17-17 record with a 3.66 ERA in two seasons as an Oriole, will remain the favorite to start on Opening Day for Baltimore. Both the right-hander and manager Dave Trembley said that his inclusion in the World Baseball Classic isn't likely to affect his routine, which was a condition to him accepting the assignment.
"We mapped it out in a way that will be pretty close to what I would've done had I remained in Fort Lauderdale the entire spring," said Guthrie, who also added that he'll pitch in the same amount of games either way. "We're confident that the preparation will be the same as far as routine -- just in a different venue with a different set of eyes watching."
"He's such a routine guy. He was concerned about keeping himself on schedule," added Trembley. "We've looked at different scenarios; if they win, he'd go on. If they don't, he'd be plugged [back] in. We've already looked at the calendar. I think he was really feeling me out, to be honest with you, when he asked me what I thought about it."
Guthrie said that he'll pitch in two exhibition games before he leaves the Orioles and then one more with Team USA before the competition starts on March 7. Baltimore will also likely lose shortstop Cesar Izturis and third baseman Melvin Mora to Team Venezuela, and it could lose closer George Sherrill and leadoff man Brian Roberts to Team USA.
Three years ago, Baltimore lost six starting pitchers and also its starting shortstop and starting catcher to the World Baseball Classic. And since Guthrie didn't compete, he's not sure what to expect.
"It will be a lot of fun," Guthrie said. "It's so foreign [that] I don't know what it will be like showing up and meeting everybody. I've never played on a team like this, except maybe an All-Star team in the Minor Leagues. But even then, you know most of the people because you've chatted with them in the stands. It will be a unique experience."
"There's a very deserving young man," Trembley said. "If someone's going to represent our team and our city, I couldn't think of anybody better. ... Guth called me last week and asked me what I thought about it. I think he really wanted to get some people's opinions before he said OK with it. I told him, 'Hey, if you get the opportunity to do that, you go ahead and do that.' What a tremendous honor that is for him, for his family, for our organization and for our club."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.