Whitt sets Canada's rotation for pool play

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Team Canada's Ernie Whitt concedes that he must manage more than games in the World Baseball Classic. He must manage pitch count, too.

The opening round has a strict pitch count of 65, but rules also state a player must have four days' rest if he throws 50 or more pitches

With that in mind and an eye on the second round, Whitt is hoping to cap his long-range pitchers at 45.

He's set two "starters" for each pool game before he turns it over to the bullpen. He also tried to put experience in the early games and unknown commodities in the pool play finale against the United States.

Former Major Leaguer Shawn Hill will start Friday's game vs. Italy, with veteran Japanese league pitcher Scott Mathieson to follow. Pittsburgh Pirates righty Chris Leroux will start Saturday against Mexico and be followed by Minnesota Minor Leaguer Andrew Albers. Jameson Taillon, drafted No. 2 overall in 2010, will start Sunday against the United States and be followed by Padres Minor League prospect Mark Hardy.

"We have a good staff set up," Whitt said. "Each can throw 45 without issue, and hopefully that gets us to the late innings where the bullpen can finish the job.