Tonight, it was officially announced that nine Washington Nationals major leaguers and minor leaguers will be playing for their respective countries in the World Baseball Classic
On MLB Network tonight, they had a one-hour special announcing which players would play for their countries in the World Baseball Classic. In total, there were nine Washington Nationals that will play in the tournament that begins on March 6. The nine players are a combination of major leaguers and minor leaguers.
First, let’s start with Team USA. There will be two Washington Nationals representing the red, white, and blue when pool C starts on March 10 in Miami, Florida. Daniel Murphy will be one of the second basemen on the team and Tanner Roark is one of the pitchers.
While Roark is on the team, he is one of two pitchers on the team (Danny Duffy of the Royals) that are in the designated pitcher pool. The new pitcher pool allows team USA to swap him out for one of the other pitchers available by round, such as Michael Fulmer of the Tigers or Sonny Gray of the A’s.
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As we discussed when Roark was named to the Team USA roster, he is one of those pitchers that can be used in either a starter or relief role against Colombia, Dominican Republic, or Canada.
The USA will be playing in the same pool as Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Canada. One of the relievers on the Dominican Republic roster is Enny Romero. Romero, who was with the Rays last season, was traded to the Washington Nationals yesterday.
For team Colombia, which is the United States first opponent on March 10, two Nats minor leaguers will be on the roster. Those two players are catcher Jhonatan Solano and infielder Adrian Sanchez. Sanchez hit .249 in 111 games last season with double-A Harrisburg and Syracuse. As for Solano, he hit .225 with 22 RBI’s in 52 games at Syracuse in 2016.
In Pool D, left-handed reliever Oliver Perez will be pitching for team Mexico. Perez just pitched for Mexico in the Caribbean Series last night and threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning. But, Mexico lost to Puerto Rico 1-0 in ten innings.
Nats right-handed prospect Rafael Martin is also in team Mexico’s roster as one of their designated pitchers. Martin has appeared in 21 big league games since 2015 and had a 4.56 ERA in 44 games last year at triple-A Syracuse.
Puerto Rico, Italy, and Venezuela are in Mexico’s group for this WBC that will be played in Jalisco, Mexico beginning on March 10.
In pool A, Nick Rickles will be one of the catchers for team Israel when the tournament gets underway on March 6 in Seoul, South Korea. If you missed our interview with Rickles, you can check it out by clicking this link. Rickles will be joined by left-handed pitcher R.C. Orlan, who pitched at high-A Potomac last year (5-6, 3.93 ERA in 41 games).
In addition to covering Washington Nationals spring training, District On Deck will have you covered on all the Nats who participate in this year’s World Baseball Classic.