Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado headline the 30-man squad chosen to represent Puerto Rico in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
Reds shortstop Felipe Lopez announced Sunday that he has decided not to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Lopez, who arrived early to Spring Training for Cincinnati on Saturday, said he needed to get ready for the upcoming regular season.
The WBC was the talk of the Tribe's Spring Training camp Thursday, as pitchers and catchers reported to Chain of Lakes Park. Those planning on participating in the event unpacked for what could be a short stay in Winter Haven, while those not participating discussed the event's potential ramifications on camp.
As baseball continues to grow globally, the World Baseball Classic could be the ideal stage for a young player from Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico or South Africa to draw interest from scouts working for Major League teams.
There might be no bigger challenge for Puerto Rico manager Jose Oquendo than figuring out how to use catching corps including Ivan Rodriguez and two Molina brothers.
A passion burns among the stars who will represent Puerto Rico, the so-called 51st state. The World Baseball Classic is an opportunity to reinforce their identity, and their status with a loaded roster.
Carlos Delgado is already getting pumped about his Puerto Rican WBC team's stern test against Team Cuba on March 10 in San Juan.
Javier Vazquez will only have a couple of weeks to get acquainted with his new White Sox teammates, but the opportunity to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic is too great for the right-hander, acquired from Arizona this offseason, to pass up.
The team Cuba sends to the World Baseball Classic in March wants to play some exhibition games leading up to the three-week tournament and has invited Puerto Rico to Havana for an undetermined number of games.
Puerto Rico has unveiled its imposing roster of 60 candidates for the WBC, a preliminary list which will yield the 30-man squad that should make the island hotbed one of the favorites in the inaugural global tournament.