After a two-year postponement, the World Baseball Classic is set to return on March 7, 2023, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most star-studded tournaments in history.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are sending multiple players to represent their country as Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and Will Smith have committed to playing for Team USA. Julio Urías additionally will pitch for Team Mexico while Freddie Freeman is expected to join Team Canada.
Urías is coming off another strong season in which he went 17-7 with a National League-best 2.16 ERA, 3.71 FIP and 0.96 WHIP in 175 innings over 31 starts. He took home the Warren Spahn Award for a second consecutive year and earned All-MLB honors by being selected to the Second Team.
Team Mexico general manager Rodrigo López said Urías is considered the captain of the team, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 2, 2023
Urías was previously excluded from the Team Mexico roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which left him disappointed. He is now looking forward to pitching for his home country later this spring.
“It’s going to be a very special thing for me and a very special moment for everybody to represent Team Mexico,” Urías said through a translator.
“Mexico is everything for me, and to be able to represent the country, and like I’ve said before, when I pitch here at Dodger Stadium, I feel like it’s part of Little Mexico, and now I get to pitch amongst all my fans.”
Clayton Kershaw believes Julio Urías is ‘overlooked’ ace
After being snubbed for the All-Star Game and finishing third in NL Cy Young Award voting, Kershaw believes Urías isn’t getting the recognition he deserves around the league.
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