After a six year hiatus, the World Baseball Classic (WBC) is returning and is scheduled to begin on March 8, 2023. The United States last won the event in 2017 and will be looking to defend their title against other contending countries such as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Japan, and others.
This year, there are 186 major league players (on 40-man rosters) and 332 total players who have contracts with MLB organizations participating in the WBC. The Milwaukee Brewers have 15 total players from their organization that will be representing their countries. Here are all the Brewers to keep an eye on during the event.
15 Milwaukee Brewers are listed on 2023 World Baseball Classic rosters.
The 15 Brewers participating are: Devin Williams, Willy Adames, Joel Payamps, Rowdy Tellez, Luis Urias, Abraham Toro, Javy Guerra, Matt Hardy, Sal Frelick, Michele Vassalotti, Alex Claudio, Carlos Rodriguez, Robert Stock, Alex Hall, and Victor Castaneda.
Williams is the lone Brewers playing for Team USA. Both Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff passed up the opportunity to pitch for the United States. The last Brewers to play for Team USA in the WBC were Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun in 2013. Christian Yelich did play in 2017, but was still a member of the Miami Marlins at that time.
The pre-tournament favorites to win the WBC is the Dominican Republic. Both Adames and Payamps will play for the Dominican Republic. Freddy Peralta elected to not participate and represent the Dominican Republic and will instead remain with the Brewers for the entirety of spring training.
Representing team Mexico will be Tellez and Urias. Tellez was in an interesting situation as he could have played for the United States, Mexico, or Israel. He ultimately elected to represent Mexico, in which his father has Mexican roots and his grandfather played baseball in Mexico. Castaneda is listed as an auxiliary player for Team Mexico and is only eligible in the second round and beyond.
New Brewers addition Toro will represent Team Canada. Javy Guerra and Matt Hardy will play for Team Panama, Frelick and Vassalotti Team Italy, Claudio Team Puerto Rico, Rodriguez Team Nicarauga, Stock Team Israel, and Hall Team Australia.
An interesting side note is that former Brewers closer John Axford will be playing for Team Canada. Axford has not pitched in a professional game since injuring his elbow as a member of the Brew Crew in August of 2021. He ended up having Tommy John surgery and his comeback story is quite incredible.
Team USA is in Pool C, in which their first game is scheduled for March 11 at 8.00 PM CT. They will take on Great Britian to begin and the game will be played in Arizona at Chase Field.
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