Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Mookie Betts and Mike Trout were opponents during Friday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels, but they are days from joining forces on the Team USA roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
The United States assembled a talented team for the international tournament, which was spearheaded by Trout not only committing to play but recruiting others to do so as well.
Along with Betts and Trout, Tim Anderson, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, Will Smith and Trea Turner are other notable position players on the Team USA roster.
After coming out of the Spring Training matchup against the Angels, Betts shared his excitement for the WBC and appreciation to have been recruited by Trout during an interview with Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA:
“I’m super excited. I get to check something off the bucket list. Playing for Team USA is super special. Being able to get asked by Mikey, super cool.”
Betts and Trout are among those playing in the World Baseball Classic for their respective careers. They’ll look to help lead a deep Team USA lineup that will need to make up for starting pitching shortcomings.
That group was hurt by Nestor Cortes having to back out from participating because of a hamstring injury, and Clayton Kershaw reportedly not being able to secure an insurance policy and thus withdrawing as well.
Betts is expected to play some second base for Team USA, and he started at the position for the Cactus League game against the Angels. Betts failed to turn a double play with Trout barreling down on him, and the two shared a laugh after the force out.
Mookie Betts Team USA bobblehead
Ahead of WBC games beginning March 7, FOCO released a wide range of limited-edition memorabilia. Among the items available for purchase is a Betts Team USA bobblehead.
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