July 2, 2006

USA Baseball has announced its 22-player roster for the 2006 National Team and Notre Dame righthanded pitcher Kyle Weiland is not among that final group, following a week of high-level competition as one of 35 players invited to the tryout phase for the elite team. The 22 players include just 11 pitchers and only four of them are righthanders, led by Cal State Fullerton’s Wes Roemer (a 2006 national player-of-the-year recipient). Only seven of the players are coming off their freshman seasons (plus 14 sophomores and a junior), with the three returners from the 2005 National Team including two pitchers (Vanderbilt’s David Price and Virginia’s Sean Doolittle, both LHPs).

The other RHPs named to the team include Florida’s Bryan Augenstein, TCU’s Jake Arrieta and Alabama’s Jake Arrieta while the other LHPs are Clemson’s Daniel Moskos, Missouri State’s Ross Detwiler, Rice’s Cole St. Clair, Nick Schmidt of Arkansas and Army’s Nick Hill (the lone junior).

The position players include catchrs Preston Clark (Texas), J.P. Arencibia (Alabama; returner from ’05) and Tim Federowicz (UNC; also listed at 1B), 2B Jemile Weeks (Miami), SS Brandon Crawford (UCLA), SS/3B Zack Cozart (Mississippi), 3B Pedro Alvarez and outfielders Julip Borbon (Tennessee) and Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) while two others are listed as IF/OF: Todd Frazier of Rutgers and Oregon State’s Darwin Barney. Doolittle also is listed as an infielder to give the team a 12th position player.

Weiland had pitched in one of the team intrasquad scrimmages and two of the four games during the tryout week. He was used in middle relief rather than as a closer, a role in which he excelled during the 2006 season while finishing third nationally with 16 saves. Odds of him making the team were steep from the start, due to the low number of RHPs at the tryout camp and with the likes of Roemer, Price and Doolittle fronting the staff. Moskos and St. Clair (both sophomores) also came in as the top closer candidates, after strong seasons playing for the nation’s top-two teams in the national polls.

Several of the pitchers named to the staff received All-America honors for the 2006 season, with those players including Roemer, Price, St. Clair, Doolittle, Schmidt and Arrieta (who shared the national lead in victories, with 14).