Team USA manager Mark DeRosa has shown at the 2023 World Baseball Classic that he is not afraid to make major lineup changes. He did just that in Team USA’s last two games at the tournament.
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner was called on to bat last in Team USA’s wins against both Colombia and Venezuela at this year’s World Baseball Classic. Turner reached base once against Colombia, and he delivered when it mattered the most in the dramatic quarterfinal win over Venezuela on Saturday, slugging a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning of the contest.
Turner, who has never started a game as the No. 9 hitter in an MLB game, does not care much about where he is slotted in Team USA’s lineup at the World Baseball Classic.
“Yeah, I mean, that’s not my job, right,” Turner said following Team USA’s win over Venezuela. “So I always look at it as just kind of do your job. Whenever your name’s called, try to do the best you can to contribute and accomplish what your role is. So, sure, I would love to hit up in the order, but this lineup’s ridiculous.
“I said it a little earlier, it doesn’t matter if you’re batting first, second, third, ninth, there’s probably going to be guys on base in front of because the lineup’s just so good. So I had some opportunities early in the game to kind of contribute with the guys on base and didn’t get the job done. So keep your chin up, keep going, and you never know when it’s going to be your moment.”
Turner now has his sights set on helping Team USA pick up a victory over Cuba on Sunday to reach the World Baseball Classic final.
“It’s not going to be easy, but I think if we can play good baseball I think we can compete with anybody, and it’s going to be probably a lot of the same atmosphere as tonight as the next game as well,” Turner said.
Team USA is looking to win back-to-back editions of the World Baseball Classic.