Baz, Kazmir, Starling join Frazier for US Olympic baseball

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NEW YORK (AP) — Tampa Bay pitching prospect Shane Baz, 37-year-old left-hander Scott Kazmir and outfielder Bubba Starling were among 10 additions Friday to the U.S. Olympic baseball roster. They joined a group from qualifying led by Todd Frazier, Edwin Jackson and David Robertson.

Two players were added to manager Mike Scioscia’s roster from Japan’s major leagues, which are stopping their seasons: Yakult right-hander Scott McGough and Yokohama outfielder Tyler Austin, who will be playing on his home field for the Olympics.

Miami infielder Eddy Alvarez, a 2014 silver medalist in short-track speedskating, is among the holdovers from the Americas tournament roster.

Major League Baseball does not allow players on 40-man rosters to participate in the Olympics and many teams discourage top eligible prospects from playing.

Just three of the 24 players are among the top 100 prospects.

Baz, a 22-year-old right-hander taken 12th overall by Pittsburgh in the 2017 amateur draft, is 3-4 with a 2.12 ERA for Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, striking out 69 in 46 2/3 innings.

The other two, Toronto right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson and Boston infielder Triston Casas, were on the U.S. team that beat Venezuela 4-2 on June 5 to earn one of the six Olympic berths.

Woods Richardson, 20, is 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings for Double-A New Hampshire. His start in qualifying, the group stage finale against Puerto Rico, was rained out after he allowed one run and four hits in four innings.

Casas, 21, is batting .275 with four homers and 23 RBIs for Double-A Portland. He hit .400 (6 for 15) with three RBIs in the qualifying tournament.

Kazmir was 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance for San Francisco, then was sent outright to Triple-A Sacramento on June 11. He is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA this year in the minors.

Starling, 28, hit .169 with one homer and five RBIs for Kansas City in 2020 and is batting .271 with seven homers and 17 RBIs this season for Triple-A Omaha.

Frazier, released by Pittsburgh in May after going 3 for 35, was the star of the qualifying tournament. The 35-year-old third baseman was 4 for 4 with a home run and an RBI double in the final. He was 6 for 15 (.400) with two homers and five RBIs in the four games of the Americas tournament.

Robertson, 36 allowed one run over two innings in qualifying. Jackson, 37, allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings.

Among those dropped who had been on the qualifying roster were right-handers Homer Bailey, DJ Johnson and James Sherfy; left-handers Trevor Lane, Matthew Liberatore, Drew Parrish and Marc Rzepczynski; infielders Logan Forsythe and Luke Williams; and outfielders Jarren Duran, Jon Jay and Matt Kemp.

Sherfy was brought to the major leagues by San Francisco right after the qualifying tournament. Libertore was picked for the All-Star Futures Game at Denver’s Coors Field on July 11.

Matt Wieters, cut from the qualifying roster just before the Americas tournament, also was not included.

The U.S. opens Group B against Israel on July 30 and plays defending champion South Korea the following day. Group includes host Japan, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

The group stage determines seeding for the double-elimination knockout stage, which starts Aug. 1. The gold medal and bronze medal games are Aug. 7.

Japan, whose roster features former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Yomiuri Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano is the tournament favorite.

Baseball was dropped from the Olympics after 2008, was restored for this year and is being dropped again for the 2024 Paris Games. It is expected to be added for 2028 in Los Angeles.

Before heading to the Olympics, the U.S. will play exhibitions in Cary, North Carolina, on July 18 and 20 around a game in Durham.

The roster:

Right-handed pitchers: Shane Baz (Tampa Bay), Anthony Carter (Saraperos de Saltillo, Mexico), Brandon Dickson (St. Louis), Edwin Jackson, Nick Martinez (Fukuoka, Japan), Scott McGough (Yakult, Japan), David Robertson, Joe Ryan (Tampa Bay), Ryder Ryan (Texas), Simeon Woods Richardson; (Toronto)

Left-handed pitchers: Anthony Gose (Cleveland), Scott Kazmir (San Francisco)

Catchers: Tim Federowicz (LA Dodgers), Mark Kolozsvary (Cincinnati)

Infielders: Nick Allen (Oakland), Eddy Alvarez (Miami), Triston Casas (Boston), Todd Frazier, Jack Lopez (Boston), Jamie Westbook (Milwaukee)

Outfielders: Tyler Austin (Yokohama, Japan), Eric Filia (Seattle), Patrick Kivlehan (San Diego), Bubba Starling (Kansas City)

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More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Ronald Blum, The Associated Press

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