St. Louis Cardinals: World Baseball Classic Rosters Announced


The World Baseball Classic rosters were announced last night with a few St. Louis Cardinals making the rosters on several teams.

The St. Louis Cardinals are honored by a number of players that will play in the World Baseball Classic that begins March 6 with pool play in the cities of Seoul, Tokyo, Miami, and Jalisco. If you haven’t watched the WBC before, I suggest you give it a shot. You can kind of call it the World Cup of International Baseball, just with far fewer teams.

The tournament consists of 16-teams divided into four pools. From there, teams will compete in a round robin format to earn a spot in the second round. The WBC pools are as followed:

Pool A: South Korea, Israel, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands

Pool B: Japan, Cuba, Australia, China

Pool C: USA, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Canada

Pool D: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy, Venezuela

The rosters for the teams were announced last night. A multitude of MLB stars are across the teams. Click on the links below to view the complete roster for each team:

Pool ASouth Korea, Israel, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands

Pool BJapan, Cuba, Australia, China

Pool CUSA, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Canada

Pool DMexico, Puerto Rico, Italy, Venezuela

Pool A features the most wide open group in the tournament. The Netherlands and South Korea are the favorites to make it to the second round. The Netherlands feature a good group of MLB players, while South Korea has a lone big leaguer.

The most notable big leaguers on the Netherlands team are Xander Bogaerts, Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons, and Kenley Jansen. The South Korean features St. Louis Cardinals closer, Seung-hwan Oh.

Related Story: Seung-hwan Oh is a Top 10 Reliever

Without a doubt, Pool B seems to be the easiest one in the tournament this year. Japan and Cuba will be the overwhelming favorites, but don’t count Australia out just yet. Luckily for Australia, Cuba and Japan will have to play each other. So a win over the other two for Australia could be huge.

Australia features the most big leaguers in this group, most notably Peter Moylan formerly with Kansas City. Other big leaguers on the Australia team are relatively unknown and the only other big leaguer in the group is Japan’s Norichika Aoki.

In what I believe is the second hardest grouping in the tournament, Pool C features two of the heavy favorites to reach the final. Team USA and the Dominican Republic are big league player heavy. If you prefer the term “stacked,” you wouldn’t be wrong.

Instead of listing all the big leaguers for the two teams (St. Louis Cardinals are Matt Carpenter, Alex Reyes, Alberto Rosario, and Carlos Martinez), I’ll give you the one thing to watch for each team. While the lineup for Team USA might be the best in the tournament, the starting pitching leaves something to be desired.

Without Max Scherzer, Team USA will rely on young guns to lead the way. Chris Archer will have to continue his success on the mound and is anchored by Sonny Gray and Marcus Stroman. These starters will have to pitch to their ability for the team to live up to its potential.

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For the Dominican Republic, the biggest question mark is the bullpen. While they do have both Jeurys Familia and Fernando Rodney at the back end, both pitchers struggled at some point last season. If their struggles continue in the tournament, then the Dominican team is in trouble.

Canada and Colombia pose some minor threat to both teams, but the USA and Dominican lineups are just too good. Either both or one of them will make the final.

The most challenging group is Pool D. Besides Italy, the remaining three teams will have to play near perfect baseball to advance to the second round of the tournament.

Site favorites, Mexico, have the most complete starting pitching and bullpen of all the teams in the tournament. Venezuela is led by Miguel Cabrera and Jose Altuve. The Venezuelan team is my dark horse team to win it all. Their pitching might be a little suspect, but if they get hot, they will be tough to stop.

Puerto Rico, last tournament’s runner-up, will look to build off momentum from a Caribbean World Series championship. They have been playing excellent baseball on the international stage and this year will be no different. They are led by St. Louis Cardinals catcher, Yadier Molina, and former Cardinal, Carlos Beltran. And don’t forget about young middle infield studs Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, and Javier Baez either.

Pool play runs from March 6-12, with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the second round. The second round of the tournament goes from March 12-19. The championship round is scheduled for March 20-22 in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium.

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It’s tough to say the winner of the tournament will come out of either Pool A or B. The two heavy favorites to meet in the final are the US and the Dominican Republic. However, I believe one of those two will fall short. My pick is Puerto Rico vs. USA in the final. Puerto Rico wins 6-3.