Cubs well-represented on World Baseball Classic rosters

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After a six-year hiatus, the World Baseball Classic will return to the diamond for the spring of 2023, and several current and former members of the Chicago Cubs will appear on rosters for the tournament. 

Of the current Cubs players, two are slated to compete in this year’s event. Outfielder Seiya Suzuki will hope to give the Japan squad a boost in the tournament, with the team aiming to bounce back after losing in the semifinals to Team USA in the 2017 edition. 

That Team USA squad featured starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, but instead of donning the Stars and Stripes this time around, he will instead represent Puerto Rico, joining manager Yadier Molina’s squad. 

Stroman won the MVP award for Team USA as they captured the title in the 2017 event, defeating Puerto Rico 8-0 in the championship game.

He posted a 1-1 record for the U.S. squad, with a 2.35 ERA and nine strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work. 

While Suzuki and Stroman are currently the only two Cubs committed to the tournament so far, several other former Cubs will also be competing, including shortstop Javier Báez, who will team up with Stroman on the Puerto Rican squad. 

Former Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson and former farmhand Robert Stock will suit up for the Israeli team in the tournament, while former Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish will represent Japan. 

Former Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber has said he will don the Stars and Stripes for Team USA, and he will be managed by former Cubs infielder Mark DeRosa, who played for the team during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. 

The 2023 World Baseball Classic will get underway on March 8 when Cuba and the Netherlands square off in Taichung. 

Suzuki and Japan will open their tournament on March 9 when they face off against China at the Tokyo Dome. 

The United States team is set to start their tournament run on March 11 when they face Great Britain at Phoenix’s Chase Field, and Puerto Rico will take the field that same day when they face Nicaragua in Miami. 

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