On Tuesday night, the fifth edition of the World Baseball Classic reached it's end, with Japan prevailing over the United States with a 3-2 victory for their third WBC title, capping arguably the most exciting WBC to watch.
In the tournament, the Baltimore Orioles had four players representing their countries, with three of them being MLB regulars and one being a non roster invite that is somewhat of a reclamation project. With the WBC now over, how did the Orioles contingent perform this time around?
One member of the Orioles represented Team Israel in the WBC, that being starting pitcher Dean Kremer. As Israel didn't make it out of pool play, Kremer only got one start in the tournament. He pitched four innings in that game, allowing three hits and walking one hitter while not giving up any runs. He also struck out four hitters in a 3-1 win for Israel over Nicaragua, which was their only win of the WBC.
Venezuela, one of Israel's competitors in Pool D, had two members of the Orioles suiting up for them. Non roster invite Darwinzon Hernandez, recently assigned to minor league camp, appeared in one game for Venezuela before they were knocked out by Team USA in the Quarterfinal. Hernandez pitched one inning out of the bullpen, allowing one hit with two strikeouts.
There was also a more significant member of the Orioles donning the Venezuela uniform. Anthony Santander was a mainstay in the Venezuela lineup and had a WBC to remember. Santander had 17 at bats over five games, hitting .353 with a 1.332 OPS, hitting two home runs with 5 RBI's. Santander had six total hits, including one double and one triple, also drawing three walks.
In Pool C, Team USA was supposed to have two members of the Orioles, but Dillon Tate's injury made it just Cedric Mullins in red, white, and blue. Mullins, who got the start in left field in the championship game against Japan, finished the tournament with a .200 batting average and .900 OPS. He hit one triple and one home run, driving in two runs in 10 at bats over 6 games that he appeared in.
At the end of the WBC, it's clear to say that Santander easily had the best performance out of the Orioles that were playing in the tournament. If I were to rank them, I would put Santander first, Kremer second, Mullins third, and Hernandez at the bottom.
With the WBC now over, it's time for all four of the Orioles participants to turn their attention back towards the regular season. Opening day is coming soon. I'm excited, are you?