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The Pittsburgh Pirates will have five representatives from their 40 man roster playing in the 16-team World Baseball Classic that is set to begin in less than a month.
Outfielder Andrew McCutchen (USA), catcher Francisco Cervelli (Italy), outfielders Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco (Dominican Republic) and starting pitcher Ivan Nova (Dominican Republic) will all represent the Pirates in the WBC. The final rosters for the tournament were announced Wednesday.
Nova is a member of the designated pitcher pool for the Dominican Republic, while the others are expected to make bigger impacts.
The Pirates also had four minor leaguers named to WBC rosters including third baseman Eric Wood (Canada), right-handed pitcher Luis Escobar (Colombia), left handed hurler Jared Lakind (Israel), and righty Sam Street (Australia).
The WBC, which is held every four years, is always a highly anticipated tournament that showcases what some of the best stars in baseball have to offer. I know I am personally looking forward to it; however, I’m not sure how I feel about the Pirates having so much representation from major league stars.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the whole world will get to see guys like McCutchen and Marte shine on a larger stage, but it might be beneficial to see them along with Polanco getting as much time as possible in their new positions during spring training.
Not to mention Cervelli is coming off of an injury plagued season and Nova, who is entering his first spring as a Pirate, might need as much time as he can get to work with pitching coach Ray Searage this spring.
Regardless of the mixed emotions, these five will be surrounded by some of the best players in the world. It’s really a testament to what they have to offer and the type of impact players that they are. It will be an exciting sight to see them represent the city of Pittsburgh and the Pirates organization as they play for their countries in the WBC.
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