I wrote earlier about lefty reliever Tim Collins being a member of Team USA.
It was rumored that lefty starter Bruce Chen might join Team China. Well, it looks as though the crafty veteran will be anchoring the Chinese staff in the WBC. I am surprised that he is going to be leaving the Royals early in spring training when he is going to be in a tight battle for the final rotation spot. Their pool, Pool A, begins play on March 2nd, but China starts play on the third against host Japan.
Pitchers are only allowed to throw 65 pitches in the first round of pool play, so if Chen can be economical, he could realistically go five or six innings (unless he gets ripped).
Joining Chen in Pool A is Royals minor leaguer Paulo Orlando. The outfielder was a member of the surprise Brazilian team that upset Panama in the WBC Qualifier. He will be with Brazil in their first WBC when they begin play on March 2nd against host Japan. As of right now, Brazil’s lone big leaguer, catcher Yan Gomes, who played in the qualifier, is not on the roster (but they only have one catcher listed on their roster).
The Netherlands shocked the world in 2009 and look to do the same in 2013 in Pool B with some players with a little more name recognition (like Jair Jurrjens, Andruw Jones, Andrelton Simmons, and Jurickson Profar). Pitcher JC Sulbaran, who the Royals received from Cincinnati for Jonathan Broxton, is a member of the Netherlands pitching staff.
I am most looking forward to seeing some of the veteran Netherlands players, like Robbie Cordemans and Yurendell de Caster, along with some of the prospect guys like Jonathan Schoop, Xander Bogaerts, and Spencer Kieboom.
The Netherlands begin pool play on March 2nd against Korea in Taiwan.
Former Royal Justin Huber is yet again a member of the Australian team that is looking to use some of that explosive offensive (over .300 average in 2009) to make it out of the pool.
Huber will be joined with other veterans Luke Hughes, Peter Moylan, and Brad Harman. They also have some young prospects like Stefan Welch, James Beresford, and Clayton Tanner.