The group of Major League All-Stars traveling to Taiwan next month for an exhibition series will have a definite Yankees flavor. Center fielder Curtis Granderson and second baseman Robinson Cano, two of the Bronx Bombers who rank among baseball's top run producers, are on the roster that will play five games against the Chinese Taipei national team. Granderson led the Majors with 136 runs scored and finished second with 41 home runs. Cano's total of 118 RBIs was good for second in the American League.
Another major offensive threat who has tentatively agreed to join the team -- subject to how he feels after participating in the postseason -- is Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, this year's AL batting champion with a .344 average. The Major League team also includes San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval, a 2011 National League All-Star. Others on the roster, which is not yet complete, are infielders Erick Aybar (Angels), Michael Morse (Nationals), Ryan Roberts (D-backs), Skip Schumaker (Cardinals) and Danny Valencia (Minnesota); outfielders Emilio Bonifacio and Logan Morrison (both Marlins); catchers Drew Butera (Twins) and Jeff Mathis (Angels) and pitchers Bill Bray (Reds), Ross Detwiler (Nationals), Dillon Gee (Mets), Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles), Mark Melancon (Astros) and Jose Veras (Pirates). Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association will name more players to the team in the coming weeks. San Francisco's Bruce Bochy, the U.S. skipper for a 2006 All-Star series in Japan, will manage the big league contingent. The squads are scheduled to play in three different cities -- New Taipei City (Xinzhuang Stadium) on Nov. 1, Taichung (Intercontinental Stadium) on Nov. 3-4 and Kaohsiung (Chengcing Lake Stadium) on Nov. 5-6. The most recent MLB trip to Taiwan was in March 2010, when the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to the country to play a two-game series against the Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Stars.