Several Brewers On Board For World Baseball Classic
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers certainly are doing their part to populate the rosters of the countries participating in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
When provisional rosters were announced for the international tournament this spring, the Brewers had 14 players from their organization listed. That figure represented the maximum amount allowed from any organization under WBC regulations.
"It is a significant number of players," assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "That is both a credit to the organization and a bit of a concern. We remain supportive of the World Baseball Classic, and when you look at the players involved, most of them are not trying to win spots on our team this spring."
Eleven of the 14 players are on the Brewers' 40-man roster: left fielder Ryan Braun and catcher Jonathan Lucroy with the United States, relievers John Axford and Jim Henderson and infielder Taylor Green with Canada, righthanders Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada with Mexico, catcher Martin Maldonado and righthander Hiram Burgos with Puerto Rico, center fielder Carlos Gomez with the Dominican Republic and infielder Jeff Bianchi with Italy.
The non-roster players committed to the WBC are infielder Hainley Statia with the Netherlands, outfielder Rene Tosoni with Canada and infielder Mike Walker for Australia.
One mitigating factor for the Brewers is that many of their WBC participants won't be far from their spring training site at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix. The U.S., Canada, Italy and Mexico are in a first-round pool that will play in Phoenix at Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the spring training facility of the Diamondbacks and Rockies.
The Brewers play an exhibition game against Canada on March 5 at Maryvale. Italy and Mexico open pool play on March 7.
• Catcher Robinzon Diaz signed a minor league deal and was invited to early minor league camp. Diaz, 29, played last season at the Triple-A level in the Rangers and Angels organizations. He played in 41 games with Pittsburgh in 2009.
• Righthander Arcenio Leon was sent to Triple-A Nashville after being outrighted from the 40-man roster to make room for free agent lefthander Michael Gonzalez. He had been claimed off waivers from Houston in early November.