Hosmer, not Howard, to replace Teixeira in WBC

Hosmer, not Howard, to replace Teixeira in WBC
March 6, 2013, 10:30 am
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CLEARWATER, Fla. – Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, not Ryan Howard, will replace Mark Teixeira in the World Baseball Classic.

Howard expressed interest in filling in for the injured Teixeira, but the Phillies were not contacted by Team USA officials, according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

“Definitely,” Howard said at Phillies camp Wednesday morning. “It’s always a great honor to represent your country. I’d love to do it, but I don’t know how it works and I haven’t heard anything.”

Though Howard has played in every game this spring, he is still building strength after missing significant time last season because of a torn left Achilles tendon. That gave the Phillies some reservations about turning Howard loose. Team USA plays its first game Friday in Phoenix.

“Of course, [we’d approve of it] if we felt he was ready to play,” Amaro said.

Is Howard ready to play?

“I think he’s still getting his legs under him,” Amaro said. “I’m not sure if he’s ready to play at that level of competition. If they ask, we’ll discuss it and go from there.”

Howard is having a big spring. He is hitting .370 (10 for 27) with three doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs in 10 games.

Teixeira, the New York Yankees’ first baseman, pulled out of the tournament because of a strained wrist. Team USA is actively looking for a replacement and is said to be considering Howard, Eric Hosmer, Paul Konerko and Ike Davis.

The Phillies host the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon. Roy Halladay and Stephen Strasburg are the starting pitchers. Here are the lineups:

WASHINGTON

Denard Span CF

Steve Lombardozzi 2B

Anthony Rendon SS

Tyler Moore DH

Corey Brown RF

Chris Marrero 1B

Carlos Rivero LF

Matt Skole 3B

Jhonatan Solano C

PHILLIES

Ben Revere CF

Michael Young 3B

Chase Utley 2B

Ryan Howard 1B

Domonic Brown LF

Laynce Nix DH

John Mayberry Jr. RF

Tommy Joseph C

Yuniesky Betancourt SS