The Dominican Republic and Venezuela have announced their World Cup rosters.
The Dominican team features ex-big leaguers all over the field, including 2003 American League rookie of the year Angel Berroa (Diamondbacks); two-time all-star Tony Batista, 37; 38-year-old Mexican League veteran Willis Otanez, who last played in the majors in 1999; and speedster Bernie Castro. Another speedster, Mexican Leaguer Freddy Guzman, and Alexis Gomez (formerly of the Royals and Tigers), will be in the Dominican outfield.
The pitching staff included Bartolo Colon last year, when the Dominican beat the U.S. and Cuba in consecutive days to win the Pan Am qualifying tournament, but has less star power this time around. Among the ex-big leaguers are Runelvys Hernandez, who most recently pitched in Korea and Mexico; Bartolome Fortunato, who was involved in the Mets' trade of Scott Kazmir in 2004; and fellow righthander Francisco Cruceta.
Venezuela, with Luis Sojo managing, has a much younger team with no big league experience but many former minor leaguers, such as outfielder Ron Acuna, infielder Tony Granadillo and righthander Edgar Martinez. Venezuela finished seventh in the 2009 World Cup.
Puerto Rico announced its roster earlier and features a team similar to that of the Dominican in terms of experience, with several former big leaguers. That group is headed by infielders Alex Cintron and Javier Valentin, and outfielder Hiram Bocachica. Active minor leaguers on the roster include lefthander Efrain Nieves (Brewers) and Sergio Miranda (Brewers). Puerto Rico finished fourth in the '09 World Cup.