The Brewers’ spring training bumps and bruises have taken another victim, as infielder Jeff Bianchi was forced to pull out of the World Baseball Classic due to groin tightness.
Bianchi was expected to play for Italy in the WBC, and looking at Italy’s roster, he probably would have played a lot as one of the team’s few infielders with Major League experience. Instead, Bianchi was back in Brewers camp on Tuesday getting treatment.
Of course, Bianchi likely wouldn’t have been away from the Brewers for too long — ranked 9th in the world by the IBAF, Italy’s not expected to make it out of pool play, and sharing a pool with Team USA, Canada and Mexico, they might not even win a game. Would-be Team Italy teammate Chris Denorfia told San Diego reporters “see you in a week” as he left Padres camp — that’s how optimistic they are.
With Bianchi now out of the Classic, the Brewers now “only” have 12 players representing the organization. The Twins are the new leaders in WBC representation, sending 13 players.
The Brewers are facing Team Canada in what’s being called an exhibition game today. Since it’s already taking place in spring training, you could probably call it an exhibition exhibition game.