The World Baseball Classic rosters were officially announced for the upcoming tourney in March and six Toronto Blue Jays players were selected to represent their respective countries.
Team USA selected Blue Jays starting pitchers Marcus Stroman and J.A. Happ to wear the red, white and blue. However, Happ’s roster spot comes with a new twist as he will be a part of the designated pitcher pool meaning he won’t be eligible for the first round but could be substituted onto the roster for the later rounds.
Team Mexico also has two pitchers from the Jays selecting Marco Estrada and closer Roberto Osuna to pitch for them. Similar to Happ, both hurlers will be in the designated pitcher’s pool and could be subbed in and out during the tourney. Estrada who dealt with a wonky back all least season participated in the 2013 tournament surrendering four runs on seven hits in three innings of work.
Team Canada selected outfielder Dalton Pompey who will presumably play centerfield for the Canucks. Somewhat surprising that Pompey would agree to participate seeing he is battling to make the Blue Jays team out of spring training.
A glaring omission from the Canadian roster is Russell Martin who was all set to break out his infielder’s mitt for the tourney. It appears Martin had some insurance complications due to a minor offseason knee surgery. Former Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders also opted not to participate after recently signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
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Jose Bautista will suit up for the Dominican Republic after recently signing a one-year deal to return to the Blue Jays. The Dominican Republic are the defending WBC Champions after beating Puerto Rico in the 2013 finals.
The Blue Jays will also have minor league pitcher Jordan Romano participating in the tourney for Team Italy. The 23-year old Canadian played in Single-A last season with the Lansing Lugnuts and will join former Blue Jays Chris Colabello and Pat Venditte on the Italian squad.
The tourney kicks off March 06th with four venues for the first round in Miami, Seoul, Tokyo and Jalisco. The tourney concludes in Los Angeles with the Championship game being played on March 22nd.