Team USA Slims Down To Traveling Roster

After a six-game swing through the New England Collegiate Baseball League with a 29-man roster, USA Baseball's college national team is leaner and ready to dig into the meat of its schedule.

Team USA will begin a five-game series against Chinese Taipei tonight in Burlington, N.C. The two teams will play five games in five days, the first two at the home of the Rookie-level Burlington Royals, the next two at the new National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., and the final game at the home of the low Class A Kannapolis Intimidators. Then, starting July 4, Team USA will play its annual five-game series against Japan, with four of the games scheduled for Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Team USA will head to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the Pan American Games starting July 14, and its roster had to be trimmed to 20 for that event. The team will carry 22 players the rest of the summer, as Wright State's Jeremy Hamilton and Vanderbilt's Mike Minor will play for USA before and after the trip to Brazil. UC Riverside closer Joe Kelly was also added to the team to replace injured Miami second baseman Jemile Weeks.

Team USA has reason to feel encouraged by its impressive tour of the NECBL, during which it went 5-1 and posted a 1.62 team ERA. Vandy shortstop Ryan Flaherty (a second baseman for USA) led the team with a .471 average (8-for-17) during the six games, and South Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak paced the team with three homers and eight RBIs, to go along with a .368 average.

Minor has been the most impressive pitcher so far, going 2-0, 0.00 with seven strikeouts and no walks in five innings (tied for the most on the team). That leads a staff that has struck out 64 batters and walked just 17 in 50 innings. Power-armed starters Jacob Thompson, Brian Matusz, Tyson Ross and Lance Lynn make for a formidable front line of pitching, while flamethrowing closer Cody Satterwhite anchors the deep bullpen.

Here is the complete 22-man traveling roster for USA Baseball's college national team this summer.

Name, Pos.
Pedro Alvarez, 3bVanderbiltL/R6-2212So.
Ryan Berry, rhpRiceR/R6-1195Fr.
Jordan Danks, ofTexasL/R6-5205So.
Danny Espinosa, ss/2bLong Beach StateB/R6-0185So.
Ryan Flaherty, ssVanderbiltL/R6-3200So.
Logan Forsythe, 3b/ofArkansasR/R6-0195So.
Jeremy Hamilton, ifWright StateL/L6-0180So.
Brett Hunter, rhpPepperdineR/R6-2190So.
Joe Kelly, rhpUC RiversideR/R6-1165Fr.
Roger Kieschnick, ofTexas TechL/R6-3200So.
Lance Lynn, rhpMississippiR/R6-5260So.
Brian Matusz, lhpSan DiegoL/L6-4180So.
Tommy Medica, cSanta ClaraR/R6-1190Fr.
Jordy Mercer, rhp/ifOklahoma StateR/R6-3192So.
Mike Minor, lhpVanderbiltL/L6-3175Fr.
Petey Paramore, cArizona StateB/R6-2195So.
Josh Romanski, lhpSan DiegoL/L6-0180So.
Tyson Ross, rhpCaliforniaR/R6-5215So.
Cody Satterwhite, rhpMississippiR/R6-4205So.
Justin Smoak, 1bSouth CarolinaB/L6-3200So.
Jacob Thompson, rhpVirginiaR/R6-6190So.
Brett Wallace, 3b/1bArizona StateL/R6-1245So.