It’s not the Olympics. At least not yet. But there’s excitement in the air for the World Baseball Classic. Team USA won the last WBC, which was held in 2017, and will begin defense of its title Saturday at Chase Field in Phoenix, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ home.
Mark DeRosa, a 16-year MLB veteran who works for the MLB network as a studio analyst, is the manager of Team USA’s star-studded roster. Team USA has the second-best odds to win the championship, behind the Dominican Republic. The U.S. beat Puerto Rico to win the title in 2017.
Team USA is in Pool C in the 2023 WBC, along with Great Britain, Mexico, Canada, and Columbia. It needs to finish first or second in the five-team pool to advance to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship game will be played at LoanDepot Park in Miami, the Miami Marlins’ home. Here is the U.S. schedule (all times Eastern): All games will be televised on either Fox or FS1 and streamed on fuboTV:
- Saturday: vs. Great Britain, 9 p.m., Fox.
- Sunday: vs. Mexico, 10 p.m., FS1.
- Monday: vs. Canada, 10 p.m., FS1.
- Wednesday: vs. Columbia, 10 p.m., FS1.
- March 17-18: Quarterfinals.
- March 19-20: Semifinals.
- March 21: Championship.
Here is the Team USA roster:
- Pitchers: Jason Adam (Rays), Daniel Bard (Rockies), David Bednar (Pirates), Kyle Freeland (Rockies), Kendall Graveman (White Sox), Merrill Kelly (Diamondbacks), Lance Lynn (White Sox), Nick Martinez (Padres), Miles Mikolas (Cardinals), Adam Ottavino (Mets), Ryan Pressly (Astros), Brooks Raley (Mets), Brady Singer (Royals), Adam Wainwright (Cardinals) and Devin Williams (Brewers).
- Catchers: Kyle Higashoika (Yankees), JT Realmuto (Phillies), and Will Smith (Dodgers).
- Infielders: Pete Alonso (Mets), Tim Anderson (White Sox), Nolan Arenado (Cardinals), Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals), Jeff McNeil (Mets), Trea Turner (Phillies), and Bobby Witt Jr. (Royals).
- Outfielders: Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Cedric Mullins (Orioles), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies), Mike Trout (Angels), and Kyle Tucker (Astros).
Around the WBC
Previous WBC winners were Japan (2006, 2009), the Dominican Republic (2013), and the USA. Early news from this year’s WBC focuses on Japan, which is off to a 2-0 start. Playing in Tokyo, the Japanese beat China 8-1 behind Shohei Ohtani and Korea 13-4 behind Yu Darvish. Among the Japanese players off to a fast start with the bat is Lars Nootbaar (4-for-8 with four runs scored). Wait, Lars Nootbaar?
Yep. The St. Louis Cardinals outfielder is from El Segundo, Calif., but his mother, Kumi Enokida, is Japanese. His father, Charlie Nootbaar, met his mother when they were students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. … Also off to a 2-0 start is the Netherlands, led by Xander Bogaerts, who is from Aruba, Jurickson Profar, who is from Curacao, and Didi Gregorious, who was born in Amsterdam. … Chinese-Taipei beat Italy 11-7 in front of a loud, boisterous crowd in Taiwan … Italy, managed by Mike Piazza, upset Cuba.
World Baseball Classic 2023 Preview
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