Dodgers News: Austin Barnes ‘Looking Forward’ To Representing Team Mexico In 2023 World Baseball Classic

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have seven players from their 40-man roster representing them in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, and among them are Austin Barnes and Julio Urías, who will play for Team Mexico.

Urías is considered the de facto captain of Mexico and will start for the team in their opener against Colombia on Saturday at Chase Field in Arizona.

Barnes is also part of the Team Mexico roster and will be participating in his first WBC. “My grandparents on my mom’s side were born in Mexico before they came over here. I grew up on that side of the Mexican culture, so it would be fun to represent them,” Barnes said of playing for the country.

Barnes warmed up to the idea of representing Team Mexico after talking to Urías and several members of the Los Angeles Angels organization. “I kind of was messing around with Julio a lot, and my uncle (Mike Gallego) is a coach with the Angels,” Barnes began.

“And Benji Gil, the manager, is with the Angels too. I just started talking to them. I’m looking forward to it.”

In addition to Barnes and Urías playing for Team Mexico, the Dodgers will be represented by Mookie Betts and Will Smith (Team USA), Freddie Freeman (Team Canada), David Peralta (Team Venezuela) and Trayce Thompson (Team Great Britain) in the 2023 WBC.

Cartaya to get increased opportunity while Barnes plays in WBC

With Barnes and Smith temporarily being away from the Dodgers, top prospect Diego Cartaya is expected to receive more playing time behind the plate in Cactus League games.

“Just look at it right now, I see Diego catching every other day on the back half of games,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said. “We’ll get [Hunter Feduccia] starting some games, (Patrick) Mazeika will start some games, but we’ll have (David) Freitas and Cartaya (primarily) for the backend of games.

“It’s an opportunity that Diego normally wouldn’t have.”

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