Australia Team Notes Courtesy Adrian Dunn Starting Pitchers Announced —
Saturday, March 4th 2006
Australia Team Notes
Courtesy Adrian Dunn
Starting Pitchers Announced —Manager Jon Deeble has announced Team Australia’s starting pitchers for its March 5 exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox and the three opening-round games of Pool D of the World Baseball Classic in Orlando.
Sunday, March 5 vs. Boston, 6 p.m. – LHP Damian Moss Tuesday
March 7 vs. Italy, 8 p.m. – RHP John Stephens Thursday
March 9 vs. Venezuela, 8 p.m. – RHP Phil Brassington Friday
March 10 vs. Dominican Republic, 7 p.m. – LHP Damian Moss
David Nilsson Named Aussie Captain —Ex-Milwaukee Brewer catcher David Nilsson, the most visible member of Team Australia, has been named team captain. Manager Jon Deeble says, “David has a lot of pride in his country and wants to put baseball on the map in Australia. I don’t think we would have won the silver medal in Athens (2004 Summer Olympics) without Nilsson and (former LHP) Graeme Lloyd.” After watching Nilsson, who Deeble claims hasn’t swung a battle “in anger” since the Athens Olympics, spray line drives and home runs around one of the Red Sox minor league practice fields during Team Australia’s live batting practice Saturday morning, Deeble added, “He could fall out of bed and hit.” In response, Nilsson said, “That’s exactly what I did.”
Aussie vs. Aussies — If Trent Durrington, currently in camp with the Boston Red Sox, will join Team Australia Monday morning after playing against his national team Sunday night in the Aussies’ 6 p.m. exhibition game against a BoSox split squad at City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers. The speedy Durrington stole 30 bases last season for AAA Nashville sandwiched around 28 appearances with the parent Milwaukee Brewers. Durrington boasts 330 career minor-league stolen bases.
Injured Pitcher Replaced — Team Australia LHP and Seattle Mariner minor-league pitcher Ryan Rowland Smith will return to Phoenix to have the Mariners’ medical staff examine his sore left elbow. Manager Jon Deeble hopes to replace Smith on the Aussies’ World Baseball Classic roster with one of three pitchers — LHP Tim Cox (Boston), RHP Josh Hill (Minnesota), or RHP Glenn Richards (Atlanta).
L H P Damian Moss To Face D R — LHP Damian Moss, a veteran of four major-league seasons (Seattle, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, San Francisco, Atlanta), boasts a 22-19 lifetime record with a 4.50 ERA. He draws the daunting task of facing the star-laden Dominican Republic lineup on Friday, March 10 (7 p.m.) in Australia’s final game of opening-round play in Pool D of the World Baseball Classic in Orlando. “Intimidation” is not a word in Moss’s dictionary. He looks upon the challenge as an opportunity. “If you want to pitch against someone, you want to pitch against the best of them,” Moss says. “Look up and down that Dominican lineup and they’re all pretty good hitters. It’s a good chance for me, a good showcase.”
Team Australia manager Jon Deeble agrees, adding, “He’s a proven winner. He won’t be phased one bit.”
The 29-year-old Moss, a free agent, expects to sign with a major-league organization by the end of March.
Team Australia World Baseball Classic Notes, Saturday, March 4, 2006
Jetlag —Manager Jon Deeble feels his team will overcome jetlag from its 30-hour trip to south Florida by Tuesday when Team Australia opens World Baseball Classic play in Orlando against Team Italy. Deeble assesses jetlag by saying, “It’s huge. Guys are still waking up at 3 a.m. Hopefully in another day they’ll be back to normal.”
Melbourne Suburb Produces Three Team Australia Members — Upwey Ferntree Gully, a suburb located approximately 40 miles southeast of Melbourne, Victoria, boasts bragging rights to 10 percent of Team Australia’s roster. First baseman Justin Huber, who spent six weeks of the 2005 season with the Kansas City Royals, headlines the group that also includes 20-year-old SS Brad Harman (Philadelphia) and 23-year-old LHP Adam Bright (Colorado).
Team Australia manager Jon Deeble says of Harman, “He has a chance to be special. He could be in the big leagues in three or four years.”
Huber, 23, coached Harman when the highly regarded Phillies’ prospect was playing for Upwey Ferntree Gully’s under-18 team.
Upwey also lays claim to another major leaguer, RHP Micheal Nakamura, who played with the Minnesota Twins in 2004.
Covering the Globe — Team Australia was visited Saturday morning by “Trans World Sport,” a weekly magazine show emanating from England that is seen in over 1200 countries and on commercial airline flights. Its package will include interviews with manager Jon Deeble, 1B Justin Huber, DH David Nilsson, and SS Brad Harman.
— aussies —