The Spanish National Team is the last of the three European World Baseball Classic opponents to travel abroad for training camp. Spain arrived in Tigertown/Lakeland, Florida on Thursday and will stay there to practice twice a day until Sunday. An exhibition game against Detroit Tigers minor leaguers will highlight the first portion of training camp.
On Sunday evening the team will move to Sarasota and the Pittsburgh Pirates complex for the second part of their preparation period. On Tuesday and Wednesday the Pittsburgh Pirates respective the Baltimore Orioles MLB squads will wait for two more exhibition games. Afterwards Spain will board a charter flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The team of manager Mauro Mazzotti will face Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
In comparison to the WBC Qualifier in September in Jupiter, Florida, which Spain won against Israel, South Africa and France, seven new players are on the roster. Rhiner Cruz (Houston Astros), Richard Castillo (St. Louis Cardinals), Chris Manno (Cincinnati Reds), Yoanner Negrin (Chicago Cubs), Sergio Pérez (Navegantes del Magallanes), Salomón Manríquez (Lincoln Saltdogs) and Jesús Merchán (San Diego Padres) will try to help making the impossible possible.