Although the 2023 World Baseball Classic is still over six months away, the Team USA roster is beginning to come into shape. The Los Angeles Dodgers will be represented by Mookie Betts, Will Smith and Trea Turner.
Smith was added to the roster at the end of August, and it marks the 27-year-old’s first time playing for an official Team USA group at any level. It’s also Smith’s first significant recognition despite being one of the game’s best catchers since making his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2019.
Smith dreamt of the possibility of playing for Team USA as a kid and is looking forward to the opportunity, via SportsNet LA:
“It’s Team USA. You come up as a kid, dreaming and seeing people put on the USA jerseys, and you hope to one day be in that position to have that opportunity. I absolutely was going to want to do it if they came asking. Just humbled, grateful and excited for the opportunity.”
The complete Team USA roster will not be officially announced until the offseason, but Smith is set to share the reps at catcher with J.T. Realmuto.
The United States will be led by first-year manager Mark DeRosa. The rest of the coaching staff includes bench coach Jerry Manuel, pitching coach Andy Pettitte, hitting coach Ken Griffey Jr., first base coach Lou Collier, third base coach Dino Ebel and bullpen coach Dave Righetti.
Team USA begins its title defense as part of Pool C at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, from March 11-15, facing Canada, Colombia, Mexico and a to-be-determined qualifying team.
The Pool C winner and runner-up will advance to the quarterfinals in Miami, Florida, from March 17-18, and match-up against the winner and runner-up of Pool D.
Urías representing Dodgers on Team Mexico in 2023 WBC/h2>
Julio Urías additionally will represent the Dodgers in the 2023 WBC as he was added to the Team Mexico roster. “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.”
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