Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Eight members of the Los Angeles Dodgers 40-man rosters are participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, including Julio Urías, who along with Austin Barnes is joining Team Mexico for the international tournament.
It represents Urías’ first time pitching for the Mexican national team and comes on the heels of consecutive stellar seasons. The opportunity to represent Mexico is also taking place in the same year that Urías is due to become a free agent.
While Urías has said his focus is on the WBC and 2023 regular season, the left-hander is going to get an opportunity to further shine on the national stage.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Urías is starting for Team Mexico in their first game of the World Baseball Classic:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 23, 2023
Mexico, who is in Pool C and has their group play taking place at Chase Field in Arizona, begins their WBC run against Colombia on Saturday, March 11.
With Urías expected to start that matchup, he’ll miss out on an opportunity to face Dodgers teammates Mookie Betts and Will Smith with Team USA the following night.
That Urías would be selected to start the World Baseball Classic opener for Team Mexico had long been expected. Particularly when taking into account general manager Rodrigo López previously identified the left-hander as the de facto captain of Team Mexico.
Julio Urías received Team Mexico cleats
Ahead of joining the Team Mexico roster, Urías received custom Under Armour cleats that feature the Mexican Flag.
After the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series, the left-hander celebrated on the field with the country’s flag draped around his shoulders.
“It’s going to be a very special thing for me and a very special moment for everybody to represent Team Mexico,” Urías recently said through a translator.
“Mexico is everything for me, and to be able to represent the country, and like I’ve said before, when I pitch here at Dodger Stadium, I feel like it’s part of Little Mexico, and now I get to pitch amongst all my fans.”
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