With the World Baseball Classic rosters unveiled on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates look to be very well represented.
While no Pirates player made the Team USA roster, there are eight players within the organization who will be competing in the tournament.
Those Pirates players include:
- Ivan DeJesus*, INF – Puerto Rico
- Jason Grilli, P – Italy
- Chris Leroux, P – Canada
- Russell Martin, C – Canada
- Wandy Rodriguez, P – Dominican Republic
- Ali Solis*, C – Mexico
- Jameson Taillon*, P – Canada
- Stefan Welch*, INF – Australia
The Pirates numbers are down from the previous World Baseball Classic in 2009, but the quality of player is certainly up. In 2009 there were a ton of organizational prospects competing, but only Ian Snell was already established in the big leagues. This season the Bucs send their No. 2 starter in Rodriguez, their closer in Grilli and their top offseason signing in Martin.
Canada is well represented with Pirates as in addition to Martin, Leroux and top prospect Taillon will pitch for Canada.
Taillon earned an invitation to spring training earlier on Thursday is a Texas native, but both of his parents were born in the Toronto area, making him eligible to represent Canada.
The WBC will begin play in March.