Slider Domination’s Team USA Starting Rotation

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Team USA Starting Rotation

With the World Baseball Classic buzzing across the baseball globe for over the past week now, it’s hard not to play GM in your mind for your country and piece together the best rosters possible.  Unfortunately, with up to 9 figures in contractual commitments to the player’s respective clubs and still 162 meaningful games to be played for the 2017 season, many big names don’t have too much wiggle room to represent their country.  Not to mention, it’s Spring Training right now for the rest of Major League baseball.  Hitters are getting their at bats to prepare for the season and the pitchers are building up their pitch counts for Go Time come Opening Day. Team USA Starting Rotation  

So how would I shape it up a roster for Team USA.  Well for starters, I always wanted to see an outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, & Bryce Harper playing together.  Big G is already there for the second time.  I understand that the Angels and Nationals don’t want to risk putting their franchise players in high intensity games on the world stage in March.

Now let’s get to what I (and most pitching people) would like to see.  The Ultimate Team USA Starting Rotation.  

Without any offense to the great arms pitching for the Red, White, & Blue, I now bid you adieu to the my Team USA Starting Rotation.

 

Team USA starting rotation

 

#5  Chris Sale

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The tall lanky lefty has done nothing in his MLB career so far but embarrass hitters with his upper 90’s fastball and devastating Slider.  This guy is no picnic to face.  Righty or Lefty.  Lefties don’t stand a chance at touching his Slider that explodes out of his low ¾ arm slot.  He leads the world in dotting the back foot of right handed hitters swinging over top of the Slider.  I mean that literally, it’s no longer just a focal point to finish the pitch.  Just ask Chris Denorfia and Mark Trumbo about the bruise and the embarassment.  Ah, Never Mind, I will just show you….

 

 

#4  Noah Syndergaard

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Now if Asgard were in the tournament, they would have the rights to him.  If a Scandinavian country were to participate, I am sure that they would dig as deep as possibly into his ancestry to prove that he is in reality, Thor.  Nonetheless, can you possiblly find a reason not to put him into the Team USA Starting Rotation…?  Or any worldly or even interplanetary rotation for that matter?  In 2016, Syndergaard’s Fastball averaged 98 MPH while his Slider topped at 95MPH.  In just his first 2 seasons, he has astounded people all around the game.  Of course, he would work in the battery with Captain America.  You know he will Bring the Thunder.  

 

 

#3  Max Scherzer

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Mad Max.  2 Cy Youngs, 2 No Hitters in one season, 2x 20 game winner, and a 20 Strike out Game.  He is already showing his worth in his $210 million contract.  So of course, like Harper, the Nationals are not letting him run wild in the WBC.  Besides, he is dealing with a finger issue that is slowing his Spring Training progress.  When Scherzer is taking the mound, you know he is bringing it right at hitters.  You see it in his presence, his emotions, and his results.  With a lower arm slot, he is one of the best at the game of consistently releasing his pitches out in front and throwing them downhill, as they burry hitters.  His Slider here in the video below shows that consistency. 

 

#2  Clayton Kershaw

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Aside from the elusive World Series Ring, what more does  Clayton Kershaw need to prove in this game?  2x 20 game winner,  a No Hitter, a 300K season, 3 Cy Young Awards and an MVP….and he just turned 29!!!  A career ERA of 2.37 and a .677 winning percentage.  Kershaw is known for his big breaking curveball, he also has a sharp late breaking Slider, which he has gotten the majority of his strike outs on in his career.

 

 

#1  Madison Bumgarner

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In a winner take all game, for World Domination, this is a no brainer who gets the ball.  Mad Bum already won 3 World Series Rings by the age of 25.  With 3 postseason shutouts, a 4-0 record in the Fall Classic with a minuscule 0.25 ERA, and 1 Super Human 5 Inning Save in Game 7 of the 2014 series, Bumgarner cemented himself as this era’s Big Game Pitcher.  

The Big Country Lefty is a workhorse for sure logging 200+ IP each of the last 6 seasons.  With his deceptive delivery, he is one of the best in the game at throwing to all 4 quadrants of the strike zone.  His Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Change Up arsenal make him the obvious choice to be the Ace of the Team USA Starting Rotation.  Plus, if the DH were to not be implemented based off of another country’s political opposition that is being taken up with the UN, I am sure all of America would be good with Bumgarner swinging the bat for himself.

 

Team USA starting rotation

In all seriousness, I would put this rotation up against one of Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, and Juan Marichall.

Or in more recent eras, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, and Tom Glavine.
Call me crazy, I don’t care.  These are not flash in the pan young pitchers who have a few good years and then fade into mediocrity.  They have established what they can do and its clear to any pitching person what their upside will be.

WBC Team USA Rotation

My 5 starters have youth, (24-32) with many great years ahead of them.  4 of them have a vast post season experience. In addition, they were all 1st Round picks.  All 5 are power pitchers with Sliders that range from highly effective to downright Dominant!  

Bring it on World!  

 

WBC Trophy

Keep Dominating!!!!

 

Team USA Starting Rotation

 

About the Author

Brad Kirsch Slider DominationBrad Kirsch is the Owner/Creator of Slider Domination. He is a former professional pitcher who blogs about all things Pitching.
Brad has also authored the AudioBook,
7 Reasons Why YOU Should Throw a Slider.
If you haven’t done so already, you can Download the AudioBook Here

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