Former MLB Managers Hargrove and Trebelhorn added to Italian Coaching Staff, Mike Piazza Hitting Coach, 69 Players in Consideration for World Baseball Classic Roster
On Sunday Italian Baseball and Softball gathered in Riccione for the ‘Night of the Diamonds’, where the national champions were honored and the Baseball.it awards were delivered. However the biggest news from Riccione was related to Team Italy and the World Baseball Classic. They announced on Sunday that the former Major League manager Mike Hargrove and Tom Trebelhorn were added to the coaching staff from manager Marco Mazzieri as bench and third base coaches.
Hargrove is 59 years old and worked as a skipper for the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners (till last summer) over 16 seasons in the American League. He has a managerial record of 1188-1173 (.503). He won five straight division titles with the Indians from 1995 to 1999, reaching the World Series in 1995 and 1997. As a player the first baseman played a total of 1666 games for the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and Cleveland from 1974 to 1985. He is currently coaching a semi-pro team in Kansas.
Trebelhorn is 60 years old and was the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 1986 to 1991 and the Chicago Cubs in the strike-shortened season of 1994. He has a 471-461 (.505) record during his career as a skipper. The former minor leaguer later worked as director of player development, third base coach and bench coach with the Orioles. At the moment he is coaching the Single A team of the San Francisco Giants.
In addition it was confirmed that former big leaguer Mike Piazza will serve as hitting coach and catching instructor for Italy at the WBC next March. Piazza retired from his active playing career last winter. In 16 seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Padres and Oakland Athletics the former catcher batted .308 with 427 homeruns and 1335 RBIs. The coaching staff will be completed by William Holmberg (pitching coach), Gilberto Gerali and Alberto D’Auria.
The Italian Baseball and Softball Federation also published a list of 69 players, which are in consideration for the Classic roster. They will cut the roster to 45 on January 15 and to 28 a month later, when all teams have to submit their final selection. The biggest names with Major League experience are outfielders Frank Catalanotto (TEX) and Dave Dellucci (CLE), catchers Chris Iannetta (COL) and Mike Napoli (LAA), infielder Nick Punto (MIN) and starting pitcher Lenny DiNardo (OAK). Especially behind the dish they have depth with Francesco Cervelli (NYY), Mike DiFelice (TB) and Sal Fasano (CLE) also having played at the big league level. However in general Italy has to rely on the core of the national team, which impressed at last year’s Baseball World Cup, and Italian Baseball League players.
Pitcher (28): Barzilla (AAA Mariners); Betto, Cillo (Fortitudo BO), Cooper (Grosseto), Corradini (Parma), Costantini (Nettuno), Da Silva (San Marino), Mark Di Felice (Milwaukee Brewers), Di Nardo (Oakland A’S), Fiore (Rimini), Flagello (A+ Brewers), Gallo (AAA Blue Jays), George (Fortitudo BO), Grilli (Colorado Rockies), La Macchia (AA Marlins), La Mura (AAA Dodgers), Maestri (AA Cubs), Martignoni (San Marino), Mazone (AAA Phillies), Milano (Fortitudo BO), Oberto (Grosseto), Olenberger (AAA Angels), Ottavino (AA Cardinals), Panerati, Matteo Pizziconi (R Cincinnati), Richetti (Nettuno), Schiavoni (A Twins), Ularetti (Latina)
Catcher (9): Angrisano (Fortitudo BO), Bertagnon (Parma), Camargo (Rimini), Cervelli (New York Yankees), Corrente (AAA Blue Jays), Mike Di Felice (AAA Rays), Fasano (AAA Indians), Iannetta (Colorado Rockies), Napoli (LA Angels)
Infielder (19): Burnham (La New Bears-Taiwan), Chiaravalloti (Somerset-Atlantic League), Costanzo (AAA Orioles), Dallospedale (Grosseto), Giarratano, Francesco Imperiali (San Marino), Renato Imperiali (Nettuno), Infante (Edmonton-Golden League), La Fera (San Marino), Liddi (A Mariners), Manzella (AAA Astros), Giuseppe Mazzanti (Nettuno), Mazzuca (Fortitudo BO), Pascucci (AAA Mets), Punto (Minnesota Twins), Rovinelli (San Marino), Sambucci (Latina), Santora (Rimini), Sgnaolin (Grosseto)
Outfielder (13): Ambrosino (Nettuno), Avagnina (Grosseto), Buccheri (San Marino), Catalanotto (Texas Rangers), Chiarini (Rimini), Andrea De Santis (Grosseto), Dellucci, Denorfia (Oakland A’S), Fick, Rottino (Brewers), Sinisi (AAA), Spidale (AAA), Zileri (Parma)