The Mexican Baseball Federation has named Vinny Castilla as new manager of their national team at the World Baseball Classic 2009. The former Major League third baseman was introduced on a news conference on Tuesday at the WBC venue Estadio Foro Sol in Mexico City. Mexico is playing Cuba, Australia and South Africa in Pool B from March 8th to 12th 2009. In 2006 Mexico was eliminated at the end of the second round after having a 3-3 record.
“I will try to give the national team all the necessary elements to be successful in every game of the World Baseball Classic,” Castilla said. “We have great pitching, a great offense and an aggressive game plan. I will try to have a balanced team, so our primary weapon will be pitching.”
The 41-year-old Castilla appeared in a total of 1854 MLB games from 1991 till 2006, playing for the Braves, Rockies, Devil Rays, Astros, Nationals and Padres. He batted .276 with 320 homeruns and 1105 RBIs during his career. He was selected to two all-star games and won the Silver Slugger Award three times. He retired from professional baseball after the Caribbean Series in February 2007.