01/17/13 7:07 PM ET
Dominican's Beltre, Cruz lead Texas' Classic crew
Team USA's Holland, Venezuela's Andrus among seven Rangers on rosters
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
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Though recent whispers circulated of a few of his pitching teammates representing Team USA at the Classic, it was lefty Derek Holland's arm that appeared on manager Joe Torre's roster.
There was another surprise in Alexi Ogando, named to a star-studded Dominican Republic roster alongside teammates Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz, before Texas announced shortly after that he will not be participating. Rather, Ogando wants to focus on his transition from the bullpen to the rotation and remain with the Rangers for the duration of camp. Two-time All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus, meanwhile, will play for Venezuela.
Elsewhere in the Rangers' system, top prospect Jurickson Profar was named to The Netherlands squad, outfield prospect Engel Beltre appeared on Spain's roster and Nick Urbanus was selected to the Netherlands' team. Texas signed the middle infielder -- the first European player to be signed by the club -- as a non-drafted free agent on Nov. 18, 2010.
The Rangers' Holland was one of 27 players -- including 14 pitchers -- announced to join Team USA on MLB Network. He'll be featured on a starting staff that also boasts Toronto's R.A. Dickey, the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong and Kris Medlen of the Braves, with a fifth starter expected to be added later to fill the final roster spot.
Team USA is in the Arizona bracket alongside Canada, Mexico and Italy and opens against Mexico at Chase Field on March 8. The U.S. has never gotten as far as the finals, losing in the second round in 2006 and in the semifinals to Japan at Dodger Stadium in '09.
The 26-year-old Holland was 12-7 with a 4.67 ERA in 29 games -- 27 starts -- for the Rangers in 2012, following a breakout 2011 campaign that resulted in a 16-5 ledger and a 3.95 ERA.
Fellow southpaw Matt Harrison was also asked to play for Team USA but ultimately declined, as did closer Joe Nathan, who was being considered, as well. In addition, Yu Darvish was asked to join Team Japan, but chose not to do so.
The Dominican Republic's All-Star duo of Beltre and Cruz, along with Venezuela's Andrus, are in the Puerto Rico bracket. Coincidentally, the Dominican Republic will play host to Venezuela in the pool's first game, to be played at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan on March 27.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.