Cubs well-represented in World Baseball Classic


The Chicago Cubs’ organization will be represented on several rosters in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, with pitcher Marcus Stroman and outfielder Seiya Suzuki among the notable players participating in the event. 

Stroman pitched for Team USA in the 2017 edition of the event, winning MVP honors as the American squad captured its first tournament title, but this time around he will join a stacked Puerto Rico squad instead. 

Stroman threw 15.1 innings for the U.S. in that tournament, with a 2.35 ERA and nine strikeouts to go along with just two walks. 

The Puerto Rico team will come fully loaded for the tournament, with former Cubs shortstop Javier Báez once again joining Francisco Lindor in the middle of the infield. 
Edwin Díaz, Christian Vázquez and Martin Maldonado are among the key members of that team. 

Puerto Rico will play its pool games in Miami, along with Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Israel and Nicaragua. Their first game is set for March 11 against Nicaragua at loanDepot Park.  

Suzuki, coming off a solid rookie year in which he hit 14 home runs and drove in 46 RBI’s for the Cubs, will be part of a Japanese team that will also include international superstar Shohei Ohtani, along with Lars Nootbaar, Yu Darvish and several other stars. 

Japan will serve as hosts for Pool B play, with South Korea, Australia, China and the Czech Republic competing in the Tokyo Dome beginning on March 9. 

Among the Cubs’ prospects in the tournament will be slugging first baseman Matt Mervis, who will play for Israel’s squad in the World Baseball Classic. 
Mervis hammered minor league pitching all season in 2022, with 36 home runs and 119 RBI’s in 512 total at-bats across three different levels. The bulk of his at-bats came with Triple-A Iowa, as he hit 15 home runs while representing the Des Moines-based squad. 


Several other Cubs prospects will also participate in the tournament, with a total of three donning the red maple leaf as they represent Canada in the event. 

Owen Caissie, currently the No. 80 prospect in baseball according to Baseball Prospectus, played 105 games last season for Class-A South Bend, with 11 home runs, 58 RBI’s and 11 stolen bases while batting .254. 

Jared Young made his MLB debut with the Cubs last season, stealing a base and batting .263 in 19 total at-bats. He also scored two runs. 

Curtis Taylor, acquired during the offseason from the Blue Jays, posted a combined 3.91 ERA in 34 games across the minors, with most of his appearances coming for Triple-A Rochester. He struck out 52 batters in 46 innings of work. 

Canada will compete in Pool C, opening their tournament against Great Britain on March 12 at Phoenix’s Chase Field. The U.S. Mexico and Colombia are also in that group. 

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