The third-ever World Baseball Classic is coming up in just over a month. Yes, we're already that close to March. We're only 25 days away from Phillies pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater (February 13).
The names of most, if not all, of the players who are going to participate have been unveiled as the teams have slowly rolled out their rosters.
The IronPigs will be well-represented at this year's Classic with 9 current or former players making the rosters of the final 16 teams. Two others - Mike Cervenak and J.C. Ramirez - played on teams eliminated in the qualifying round (Czech Republic and Nicaragua). Tyson Gillies, a potential future Pig, will be playing with team Canada. There's also a few recognizable names from the IL scattered throughout the rosters (Francisco Cervelli, Chris Denorfia, Che-Hsuan Lin, etc.) along with a number of MLB stars.
Here's who's playing and for who:
Rodrigo Lopez (Note: the Phillies re-signed him and we could very well see him back in Allentown in 2013)
*Did not qualify for the round of 16
You can check out all the rosters on the WBC website.
The World Baseball Classic
If you're new to the whole WBC thing, the first one was held in 2006 and the last one in 2009. This year there will be 16 teams involved - the top 12 from the '09 Classic and 4 teams who got in after a qualifying round which took place last September and November. There's four "pools" containing four teams each. You play one game against each of the other three teams in your pool. The two teams atop each pool's standings after three games advance to the second round. From there it's a double elimination round and then a single-elimination knockout round before the championship round which contains a 3rd place game, a 2nd place game, and a championship game.