A selection of the Swedish National Team will start its preparations for the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup this Spring. The Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation announced on their website that from May 16th to 28th 25 players receive the opportunity to travel into the United States to practice and to play exhibition games on a high level.
The highlight awaits the squad in the first week, when they will practice at the Detroit Tigers spring training facilities in Lakeland, Florida, including training matches against teams of the Tigers, Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros. Afterwards they make the trip to Wisconsin to conclude the exhibition schedule with games against the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers, La Crosse Loggers and Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League.
Manager Kalle Knutsson selected 13 pitchers and twelve position players for the two-week trip. Four of them, Bjoern and Peter Johannessen, Philip Gajzler and Nicklas Melin will start a week in advance to take part in the Tigers extended spring training. Additionally two of their coaches Magnus Höglund and Doug Skiles got the chance to visit Major League clubs this March for a period of two weeks.
Pitchers: Name Team Christian Staehely* Seattle Mariners Joakim Claesson Stockholm Per Sjörs Leksand Bryan Berglund Royal High Scool, Calif. Mikael Andersson Tranås Nick Soubiea Sundbyberg Michael Andersson Karlskoga Maikel Hurtado Florida Curtis Dionne Göteborg Niklas Melin Rättvik Kent Karlsson Karlskoga Johan Tisell Sundbyberg Peter Jansson Rättvik Oscar Carlstedt Stockholm *if allowed by Seattle Mariners Position Players: Name Team Magnus Pilegård Stockholm Björn Johannessen Stockholm Peter Elfving Sundbyberg Tomas Börjes Rättvik Rickard Leander Leksand Petter Diurlin Stockholm Rickard Reimer Rättvik Adam Sorgi Rättvik Christoffer Johansson Karlskoga Philip Gajzler Sundbyberg Tony Dermendziev Tranås Peter Johannessen Stockholm