The Detroit Tigers have several players competing in the upcoming World Baseball Classic
The 2023 World Baseball Classic will take place next month during spring training. For two weeks, players from all over the league will leave their teams and represent their country in what is essentially the World Cup of baseball. The Detroit Tigers will have several players on their team compete in the event—eight in total.
Position players Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela), Javier Baez (Puerto Rico), Jonathan Schoop (Netherlands), Andy Ibanez (Cuba), and minor leaguer John Valente (Italy); as well as pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez (Venezuela), and minor leaguers Chavez Fernander (Great Britain) and Jack O’Loughlin (Australia) were all announced as part of the WBC rosters Thursday night.
Together, they will represent seven countries in total. Additionally, OF Akil Baddoo was considered to play for Great Britain, but was not selected according to Chris McCosky of The Detroit News. The full rosters can be viewed by scrolling through the official World Baseball Classic Twitter page.
Four of those players—Miggy, E-rod, Schoop, and Baez—all are locks to make the Opening Day roster for the Detroit Tigers. The minor leaguers have virtually no shot at making the cut. Ibanez, however, is expected to compete for the third base job, so it'll be interesting to see how the Tigers handle that.
It'll be nice to see Miggy get one last crack at the WBC title with his home country, although I suppose he could technically still play for them in future WBCs. Also, Schoop will be playing alongside his older brother, Sharlon, on the Dutch national team. They are both from Curacao, and players from there, Aruba, and Bonaire—also known as the "ABC Islands"—can play for the Dutch national team in international competition, as noted by Evan Woodberry of MLive.
In addition, several former Tigers are competing in the WBC. They include Phillies' reliever Gregory Soto (Dominican Republic), who was traded by the Tigers last month, Rays' infielder Isaac Paredes (Mexico), who was traded for Austin Meadows just before Opening Day last season, and former Tigers' prospect Jacob Robson (Canada).
This is the first time since 2017 the World Baseball Classic has been held because of the pandemic. It begins March 8 as the U.S. looks to defend its title. It won't be easy, though. Venezuela and the Domincan Republic look especially stacked this year. Japan is always a tough out as well. It should be a fun event.