07/24/2008 11:05 AM ET
USA Baseball finalizes 2008 Olympic roster
Twenty-fourth player named; Three players replaced due to call-ups, injury
2008 Olympic roster
USA Baseball announced today the 24th member of its 2008 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team as well as three replacements for players who had been named to last Wednesday's initial roster.
Colorado Rockies second baseman Jayson Nix (Midland, TX) has been named as the 24th player on the roster. Nix, who is currently with Triple-A Colorado Springs, has spent time with the Major League Club this season, hitting .125 with two runs, two RBI and a stolen base.
USA Baseball honored Nix with the 2007 Richard W. "Dick" Case Award for his play on the USA Baseball World Cup Team last November. The award, which honors USA Baseball's founding Executive Director/CEO, recognizes USA Baseball's Athlete of the Year. The Rockies prospect went 2-4 with a home run, two RBI, a run scored and a walk in a 6-3 win over Cuba in the World Cup gold medal final in Taipei, Taiwan. In winning the gold, the U.S. snapped a 33-year winless streak at the World Cup, and it ended a run of nine consecutive championships for Cuba.
Also named to the team are Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jeremy Cummings, Minnesota Twins pitcher Brian Duensing and San Francisco Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz. The three players were added as replacements for Chicago White Sox pitcher Clayton Richard and San Francisco Giants pitcher Geno Espineli, both of whom were recently promoted to their Major League Clubs, and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus, who is injured.
Duensing was also a member of the 2007 World Cup Team, going 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA and four strikeouts. He also started the gold medal final against Cuba, giving up only one earned run with two strikeouts in a no-decision. Duensing is currently pitching for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
"We are excited to see Nix in the red, white and blue again," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. "Although it hurts to see the three players go, we know we are adding quality players, including Duensing, who we have seen first-hand get the job done against the best international competition."
Cummings is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 63 strikeouts for the Triple-A Durham Bulls. He came to Durham following a stint in Taiwan, giving righty experience on the international stage as well. Schierholtz is competing for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, carrying a .310 average with 13 home runs and 62 RBI. The left-handed hitter was a member of Team USA at the XM All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, July 13th.