Stanton, Jones headline US roster for World Baseball Classic
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton and Baltimore star Adam Jones are among the returnees on the 28-man U.S. World Baseball Classic roster, which also includes Colorado’s Nolan Arenado, Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt, San Francisco’s Buster Posey and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen.
Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller is part of a 13-man pitching staff that also has Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer, Kansas City’s Danny Duffy, Detroit’s Michael Fulmer, Oakland’s Sonny Gray, Toronto’s J.A. Happ and Marcus Stroman and Seattle’s Drew Smyly.
The roster announced Wednesday by USA Baseball includes 18 All-Stars, two MVPs and nine Gold Glove winners.
Jim Leyland will manage the U.S. team and Joe Torre is the general manager.
Miami has the most players on the roster with three, while eight teams have two players each.
Brett Cecil, Fulmer, Gray, Happ, Smyly and Alex Wilson comprise the designated pitcher pool. For the first time, teams will be able to select up to two pitchers to join the roster following each round.
Houston’s Luke Gregerson, Eric Hosmer of Kansas City, Jonathan Lucroy of Texas and Stanton return from the 2013 WBC squad.
The U.S. will play its first-round games as part of Pool C at Marlins Park in Miami. The Americans open against Colombia on March 10. They take on defending champion Dominican Republic on March 11 and play Canada on March 12.
The Dominican roster includes 43-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colón of Atlanta, Robinson Cano of Seattle and Manny Machado of Baltimore.
Puerto Rico has 13 players returning from its runner-up squad four years ago, including Carlos Beltran of Houston, free agent Angel Pagan and Giovanni Soto of the White Sox.
Canada’s roster includes Freddie Freeman of Atlanta, reliever John Axford of Oakland and Dalton Pompey of Toronto. Left off the roster was Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin, who had minor offseason knee surgery, and outfielder Michael Saunders, who just signed a deal with the Phillies.
Mexico’s roster includes Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and free agent reliever Sergio Romo. The team will be managed by Gonzalez’s brother Edgar, a former major leaguer, and Fernando Valenzuela will serve as a coach.
Kansas City Royals free agent pitcher Peter Moylan and Oakland reliever Liam Hendriks are among the players on Australia’s roster.
Played every four years, the WBC will be held March 6-22 in Japan, South Korea, Mexico and the United States, with the semifinals and championship game set for Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic won the 2013 tournament, beating Puerto Rico in the final.