Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After a six-year hiatus, the World Baseball Classic returned this week, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most star-studded tournaments in history.
A total of 20 national teams are participating in the event this year, which is up from the original field of 16. Fox Sports has exclusive coverage of all 47 tournament games across FOX, FS1, FS2, FOX Deportes, Tubi, and the FOX Sports app in the U.S.
Opening rounds of the 2023 WBC are taking place in Tokyo, Taiwan, Miami and Phoenix. The semifinals will be held at loanDepot Park from March 19-20 and the championship game is also in Miami on Tuesday, March 21.
Pool A consists of Team Chinese Taipei, Team Netherlands, Team Cuba, Team Italy and Team Panama; Pool B is comprised of Team Japan, Team South Korea, Team Australia, Team China and Team Czech Republic; Pool C is made up of Team USA, Team Mexico, Team Colombia, Team Canada and Team Great Britain; and Pool D includes Team Puerto Rico, Team Venezuela, Team Dominican Republic, Team Israel and Team Nicaragua.
The WBC is headed by MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA), and sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation. Official 2023 World Baseball Classic rosters were announced on Thursday, and they feature record totals of 67 MLB All-Stars, 186 players on 40-man rosters and 331 players under contract with MLB organizations.
Each roster includes up to 30 active players, including at least 14 pitchers and two catchers, along with a designated pool of up to eight additional pitchers who are eligible to participate in one or more consecutive rounds.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are being represented in the WBC by seven players from their 40-man roster, as well as third base coach Dino Ebel and three additional players.
Double-A Tulsa Drillers athletic trainer Jesse Guffey is additionally serving as the team trainer for Great Britain. Dodgers advance scouting analyst Pat O’Shea is helping Team USA manager Mark DeRosa’s with analytics and matchups.
Clayton Kershaw (Team USA) and Miguel Rojas (Team Venezuela) were due to participate in the WBC as well but withdrew because of insurance coverage issues and the Gavin Lux ACL injury, respectively.
Dodgers in 2023 World Baseball Classic
Austin Barnes, Team Mexico
Austin Barnes is also participating in his first WBC and will play for Team Mexico. “I want to play in the tournament,” he began. “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.”
Mookie Betts, Team USA
Mookie Betts is a two-time World Series champion, six-time All-Star and former MVP winner, and now will look to add World Baseball Classic champion to his résumé when he plays for Team USA.
Liam Doolan, Team Australia*
Dino Ebel, Team USA
Ebel is part of first-year manager Mark DeRosa’s coaching staff, which also includes bench coach Jerry Manuel, pitching coach Andy Pettitte, hitting coach Ken Griffey Jr., first base coach Lou Collier and bullpen coach Dave Righetti.
Freddie Freeman, Team Canada
Freddie Freeman is participating in his second WBC and hopes Team Canada has better results this year. “Six years ago we went 0-3, so I would like that to be different this time,” he recently said. “There’s some guys that opted out and we’re going to be young, but I think we’ve still got a good chance.
Adam Kolarek, Team Israel*
David Peralta, Team Venezuela
Jose Ramos, Team Panama*
Trayce Thompson, Team Great Britain
Trayce Thompson is playing in his first WBC and will represent Great Britain. He was born in Southern California, but his father Mychal is from The Bahamas, and thus can suit up for the British team.
Julio Urías, Team Mexico
After being left off the Team Mexico roster in the 2017 WBC, Julio Urías is looking forward to pitching for his home country. “It’s going to be a very special thing for me and a very special moment for everybody to represent Team Mexico,” he 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.”
Will Smith, Team USA
Will Smith is among the first-time WBC participants and will round out a stacked Team USA roster that includes a bevy of stars.
*Non-40-man roster participants
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