2023 World Baseball Classic: Team USA’s Merrill Kelly starts against Colombia, according to report

Thanks to Britain’s surprise win over Colombia on Monday, Team USA have their fate in their hands in the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The US will advance to the second round with a win over Canada on Monday and a win over Colombia on Wednesday. Tuesday is a rest day. Here’s how to follow Monday’s game against Canada.

Chicago White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn is set to take on Canada on Monday. On Wednesday, the Americans send Arizona Diamondbacks Righty Merrill Kelly up the hill against Colombia. reports USA Today. Kelly, starting Wednesday, suggests St. Louis Cardinals workhorse Miles Mikolas will come out of the bullpen on Monday.

“I haven’t heard much about when I’ll serve or how I’ll be deployed,” Kelly said during an interview with MLB Network Radio last month. “When it first came up, when the opportunity presented itself, the team wanted me to start, so I’m working on that unless otherwise stated.”

Team USA has piggybacked starting pitchers in their first two WBC games. Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright and Colorado Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland faced Britain on Saturday, and San Diego Padres righty Nick Martinez and Kansas City Royals righty Brady Singer faced Mexico on Sunday. Lynn and Mikolas appeared to have faced Canada on Monday.

With the United States having a day off Tuesday, coach Mark DeRosa expects his entire backup team to be available behind Kelly on Wednesday against Colombia. No piggyback starter is needed. The US should have enough guns to field a different reliever every inning once Kelly is out of the game, and then some.

Wednesday’s game could be a win or a home game for either team, it should be noted. If USA beats Canada on Monday and Colombia on Tuesday, Canada and Mexico on Tuesday, Great Britain on Tuesday, the winner of Wednesday’s USA-Colombia match advances to the second round and the loser is eliminated from the WBC.

The first round of the WBC consists of four pools with five teams. Each team plays every other team in their pool once, and the teams with the top two scores advance to the Quarterfinals. Cuba and Italy left Pool A and Australia and Japan left Pool B. Pools C and D will close later this week.

Kelly, 34, threw for 200 1/3 innings in 2022 with a 3.37 ERA. Wednesday’s game against Colombia will be played at Chase Field in Arizona, Kelly’s home ground with the D-backs. He has a career 3.35 ERA in just under 300 innings at Chase Field.

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