The final rosters for next month’s 2013 World Baseball Classic were just revealed on MLB.com.
The only real big surprise is that first baseman Joey Votto is listed under the heading for Team Canada. He hasn’t fully committed yet to playing and probably won’t make that decision until the event draws a bit closer. The Reds have some mild concerns about his surgically-repaired left knee and would prefer that he remains in camp all spring, but they don’t have the power to tell him he can’t participate because he did not finish the 2012 season on the disabled list.
MLB.com notes that 45 different major league All-Stars currently appear on the submitted rosters.
The 2013 World Baseball Classic is scheduled to get underway on March 2, beginning with pool play.
The 16 baseball federations involved are Brazil, China, Cuba, Japan, Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Holland, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, Venezuela, Canada, Italy, Mexico and the United States.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.