3 current, ex-Phillies join Team USA for Olympics qualifier
By Matt Rappa
While the Philadelphia Phillies are in the thick of their season, one of their prospects, a former reliever — who last pitched in Major League Baseball two years ago — and a 2020 summer camp invitee will soon play international baseball competition.
USA Baseball recently announced its Olympic Training Camp roster of more than 25 players who will help Team USA qualify for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. These players will compete in an eight-team Americas Qualifier from May 31 to June 5 in Florida.
Current and former Phillies will help Team USA make the Summer Olympics.
The qualifier’s winner will earn a spot in the Olympics, while the second- and third-place teams will get another chance at an upcoming Final Qualifier in Mexico. Team USA’s opener will be against Nicaragua on Memorial Day at 7 p.m.
“Team USA failed in its first chance to qualify for the Olympics in the WBCS Premier12 in November 2019 with a prospect-heavy roster,” Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser writes. “There is a significantly larger and more accomplished veteran contingent on this roster, which it hopes will be enough to put it over the top.”
Team USA last won gold at an Olympic Games at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. A young Roy Oswalt was among the players on the Tommy Lasorda-managed roster. Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia native Mike Koplove, Lou Marson (eventually traded for Cliff Lee), and Jayson Nix were among those who competed for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics.
Players currently on a Major League Baseball team’s 40-man roster are not eligible for the 2021 Americas Qualifier. Therefore, selected players make up former accomplished major leaguers, as well as young top prospects. Here are the three current and former Phillies set to participate, who represent exactly that.