Baseball Canada has submitted to World Baseball Classic Inc. for approval, the names of 23 players to appear on their Provisional Roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, March 2-19. The official Provisional Roster was scheduled to be announced by WBCI on Jan. 17.
The remaining five players elected to fill out the Provisional Roster will be announced at a later date.
The roster features 12 players who played Major League Baseball in 2012 including Courtenay's Taylor Green of the Milwaukee Brewers, Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, Russell Martin of the Pittsburgh Pirates, John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers, Jesse Crain of the Chicago White Sox, Michael Saunders of the Seattle Mariners and Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Also being named to the roster are some familiar names with the National Team including Chris Robinson (Dorchester, ON), Jimmy Van Ostrand (Richmond, BC), Jonathan Malo (Joliette, QC) and Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC).
“I’m pleased to see that our roster consists of many players that have worn the Canadian colours before with our National Teams program,” said Canadian Manager Ernie Whitt. “The familiarity our players have with one another, and the coaching staff, will be beneficial in a short tournament like the World Baseball Classic.”
Of the 23 players, eight were part of the World Baseball Classic in 2009 which includes Phillippe Aumont, Crain, Chris Leroux, Martin, Lawrie, Morneau, Pete Orr and Saunders. Players from the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic roster include Crain, Scott Mathieson, Robinson, Morneau, Orr and Loewen.
Canada will open the World Baseball Classic against Italy on March 8 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, while other first round games will take place at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 9 against Mexico and March 10 against the United States.
At the completion of the first round, the top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the second round.
Canada will play exhibition games against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 5 and the Cincinnati Reds on March 6 at each club’s respective Spring Training Facility.
For more information on the World Baseball Classic, visit www.worldbaseballclassic.com.
– Baseball Canada