Yanks' Wang among Taipei's options
Dodgers lefty Kuo additional possibility for WBC roster
By Jim Street / MLB.com
Heading the list of 59 potential players announced on Wednesday are Yankees right-hander Chien-Ming Wang and Dodgers lefty Hung-Chih Kuo. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Wang posted an 8-5 record and 4.02 ERA for the Yankees this past season, while Kuo spent the final month of the regular season in the Dodgers bullpen, appearing in nine games.
Wang is expected to anchor a pitching staff that could include left-handers Kuo, Ching-Long Lo (Rockies), Chi-Hung Cheng (Blue Jays) as well as right-handers Po-Hsuan Keng (Blue Jays) and Chia-An Huang (Mariners).
The list of players who have agreed to participate in the WBC, which will be held March 3-20, includes 22 pitchers, seven catchers, 17 infielders -- including Minor League players Ching-Lung Hu (Dodgers) and Yung-Chi Chen (Mariners) -- and 11 outfielders, featuring Chin-Feng Chen (Dodgers) and Kuo-Hui Lo (Mariners).
The inaugural World Baseball Classic, a 16-team tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will feature the world's best players competing for their home countries and territories for the first time. Fans will be able to follow all the games live exclusively online at MLB.com.
First-round action will be played at four sites. Pool A, consisting of Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and China, will meet at the Tokyo Dome, March 3-5. Pool B, featuring USA, Canada, Mexico and South Africa will play at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Scottsdale Stadium, Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants, March 7-10. Pool C, which consists of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama and the Netherlands, will play at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 7-10. Pool D, featuring the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Australia and Italy, will play at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., March 7-10.
Chinese Taipei is scheduled to play its WBC opener on March 3 against Korea at the Tokyo Dome.
The top two teams from each pool will advance to the second round, which takes place March 12-15 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium and Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The semifinals and finals will be held at San Diego's PETCO Park March 18-20.
Tickets are on sale at www.worldbaseballclassic.com.
Wang started the season at Triple-A Columbus and made six starts with the Clippers before being promoted to the Yankees on April 27. He made his Major League debut three days later against the Blue Jays, settling for a no-decision, and won his first big-league game on May 10 against the Mariners.
The 25-year-old pitched at least six innings in 15 of his 17 starts with the Yankees, who were 11-6 in games he started. Wang missed five starts from July 13-Sept. 6 with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Wang is familiar with international competition. He was a member of the 2004 Chinese-Taipei Olympic Team in Athens, and helped lead Taiwan to an Olympic berth in the 2003 Asian Championships. He earned Most Valuable Player honors for Taiwan at the 2002 Asian Games and was a member of the Taiwan Junior National Team in 1997 and 1998.
Kuo, 26, has battled injuries during most of his six seasons in the Dodgers organization, but made it through the 2005 season unscathed. In 28 outings between Class A Vero Beach (11 games) and Jacksonville (17 games), Kuo was 2-2 with three saves and a 1.99 ERA, striking out 86 batters in 54 1/3 innings. With Double-A Jacksonville, he posted a 1.91 ERA, and during a 13-game span from July 9-Aug. 29, he allowed just one run in 21 innings.
Kuo made his Major League debut on Sept. 2 at Colorado, entering the game against the Rockies with the bases loaded and two outs before retiring Clint Barnes on a soft line drive.
Prior to the season, Kuo had been limited to 18 games and 42 1/3 innings because of injuries.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.