Press Release Baseball Canada
TORONTO – Baseball Canada has submitted to WBCI for approval, the names of 23 players to appear on their Provisional Roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic March 2nd-19th. The official Provisional Roster will be announced by WBCI on January 17th.
The remaining five players elected to fill out the Provisional Roster will be announced at a later date.
The roster features 12 players who played Major League Baseball in 2012 including Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, Russell Martin of the Pittsburgh Pirates, John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers, Jesse Crain of the Chicago White Sox, Michael Saunders of the Seattle Mariners and Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Also being named to the roster are some familiar names with the National Team including Chris Robinson (Dorchester, ON), Jimmy Van Ostrand (Richmond, BC), Jonathan Malo (Joliette, QC) and Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC).
“I’m pleased to see that our roster consists of many players that have worn the Canadian colours before with our National Teams program,” said Canadian Manager Ernie Whitt. “The familiarity our players have with one another, and the coaching staff, will be beneficial in a short tournament like the World Baseball Classic.”
Of the 23 players, 8 were part of the World Baseball Classic in 2009 which includes Phillippe Aumont, Crain, Chris Leroux, Martin, Lawrie, Morneau, Pete Orr and Saunders. Players from the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic roster include Crain, Scott Mathieson, Robinson, Morneau, Orr and Loewen.
Canada will open the World Baseball Classic against Italy on March 8th at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, while other first round games will take place at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 9th against Mexico and March 10th against the United States.
At the completion of the first round, the top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the second round.
Canada will play exhibition games against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 5th and the Cincinnati Reds on March 6th at each club’s respective Spring Training Facility.
Sportsnet is the official broadcaster of the World Baseball Classic in Canada, and will be providing coverage of all Team Canada games. A complete broadcast schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information on the World Baseball Classic, please visit: www.worldbaseballclassic.com
Photo: Walter Keller