The official World Baseball Classic rosters were announced Thursday night and the Cubs have got a boatload of influence across multiple teams. All told, there will be 17 current members of the organization playing for 10 squads. That number would be higher had Trey Mancini remained with Team Italy, but he opted instead to focus solely on the Cubs this spring.
This tweet from Marquee has most of the names, but we’ll add another below.
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) February 10, 2023
Liam Spence is playing for Team Australia; Owen Caissie, Curtis Taylor, and Jared Young are with Canada, eh; Danis Correa and Fabian Pertuz are on Team Columbia; Roenis Elías represents Cuba; B.J. Murray and Branden Noriega are on Team Great Brittain; Matt Mervis will mash for Team Israel; Seiya Suzuki is with Team Japan; Javier Assad pitches for Mexico; Marcus Stroman and Nelson Velázquez are playing for Puerto Rico.
I left the Team Italy members off because I wanted to give them their own section after seeing how much Cubs-adjacentcy is on that team alone. Sure, it’s just Ben DeLuzio, Vinny Nittoli, and Miles Mastrobuoni among current members of the organization, but there are some deep cuts elsewhere without even considering Mancini.
You don’t have to go too far into the back catalog for Robel García, but how about Alberto Mineo, Joe Biagini, Matteo Bocchi, and Jeffrey Passantino? Yeah, that’s the good stuff. I’m currently seeking confirmation as to whether the latter righty is actually ESPN’s Jeff Passan simply attempting to pass himself off as Italian in order to get a shot at on-field glory.
I’m also awaiting word on whether Elias will repurpose one of the Cubs’ blue road jerseys from the 90s for the tournament. You remember those, the ones with script that looked like “Cuba.”
The WBC runs from Tuesday, March 7 through Tuesday, March 21 and you can get all the info on schedules, tickets, and news right here.