Ben Sheets has been listed on the Team USA roster for the World Baseball Classic in March, which doesn't seem like a terribly good idea for a pitcher bouncing back from injury. Or, for that matter, for a pitcher whose been injury-prone in the past. Or, for that matter, a highly-paid young pitcher on whom your season's fortunes largely depend.
Yeah, I'm with Doug and Gord here: Ben shouldn't play. Then again, I tend to think the whole thing is a bad idea, especially for the pitchers who participate, at least some of whom will wear down earlier in the season. It'll disrupt spring training for the guys that need it, and it could have negative effects on team chemistry, taking away star players for much of the final weeks of spring training. Some things from the article at MLB.com:
"We're trying to get him ready for a regular season, and as far as Ben being able to perform at that level, at that time, it's not going to happen," Ash said. "It's a physical impossibility."
Ash and Melvin, both Canadians, have long supported the idea of a baseball version of the World Cup. The Brewers have happily given their blessing to other participants, including Bill Hall and Chad Moeller (U.S.), Carlos Lee (Panama), Corey Koskie (Canada) and Jorge De La Rosa (Mexico).
If those five guys were our only contributions to the WBC, I'd be thrilled--a judgment that would change drastically if Sheets is pitching competitively in early March.