posted on March 14, 2013 13:05
MOBILE, Ala-- The World Baseball Classic has some University of Mobile flavor, as former Rams J.C. Romero and Joe Espada are on the Puerto Rican National Team roster.
Romero has appeared in a team-high three games out of the bullpen, while Espada is serving as a coach. Romero, currently a free agent, has struck out three and given up two runs on four hits in 2.1 innings of work.
Espada was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft by the Oakland A's and advanced has high as the Triple-A level on several occasions. He was a Texas League All-Star in 1999 and a Central League All-Star in 2004 and 2005. He previously served as the Miami Marlins' minor league infield coordinator, and this season will be his third as the team's 3rd Base Coach.
Romero has drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 21st round of the 1997 MLB Amateur Draft, and has pitched 14 seasons in the majors. He was a major part of the Philadelphia Phillies' 2008 World Series Championship, winning two games in the World Series and pitching in eight playoff games, allowing only two hits. He has thrown 661.1 career innings in the big leagues, picking up 34 wins, 7 saves and 526 strikeouts.
From his time at UMobile, Espada has the highest career batting average at .442 and the top two single-season averages at .468 and .446. He is 3rd in career hits with 212. Romero is 8th in career strikeouts with 119 and 10th in career ERA at 2.90. He also hit two home runs in a game, which is tied for the school record.
Puerto Rico went 2-1 in Round 1 pool play, and is currently 1-1 in Round 2, with the next game Friday, March 15.