Because of the elbow problems he started the season with and the broken leg he suffered on April 28, Jeff Karstens finished the season with only 65 innings. That includes his time in the minors.
That was the main reason the Yankees volunteered him for Team USA and so far it seems to have been a good idea.
Team USA tuned up for the World Cup by playing some games in the Arizona Fall League. Karstens started two games, going 6.2 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
He is one of the five starters Team USA will use when it travels to Taiwan for the Cup. Their first game is Wednesday. Karstens is working with Marcel Lachemann, the respected pitching coach.
Karstens is not an A-level prospect. But I believe he could have some value to the Yankees. He was terrific in spring training last season until the injury came up.
Follow the World Cup at USABaseball.com.
UPDATE: I received an e-mail from John Blundell of Major League Baseball, who is in Taiwan with Team USA. Karstens is starting the first game of the World Cup against Mexico. So good luck to Jeff.
In case you were wondering, Chien-Ming Wang is not playing for Taiwan.