ST. LOUIS -- Eleven members of the Cardinals' organization, including seven players from the 40-man roster, have been selected to participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. These players will represent seven of the 16 countries competing in the tournament, which runs from March 6-22.
Several of these Cardinals participants had previously been announced, including first baseman Matt Carpenter (USA), starter Carlos Martinez (Dominican Republic), catcher Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico), closer Seung Hwan Oh (Korea) and starter Alex Reyes (Dominican Republic), who will be sidelined for the season after elbow surgery.
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Reliever Brett Cecil, who signed with the Cardinals in November, will join Carpenter as a member of Team USA. Minor Leaguers Corey Baker (Israel), Trey Nielsen (Italy), Alberto Rosario (Dominican Republic), Ryan Sherriff (Israel) and Rowan Wick (Canada) have also been selected.
Cecil and Sherriff were named to their respective country's designated pitcher pool, which works like this:
A team can use up to 10 designated pitchers but can't have more than two on its active roster at a time. Those "active" DPs can be replaced at the beginning of each of the next two rounds, but only by another DP. Once a DP has been replaced, he cannot return to the active roster for a subsequent round. And if a DP joins for the second round, he can be replaced for the championship round, but only by another DP.
This means that three pitchers could get limited or no exposure at all during World Baseball Classic play.
Oh and Molina are intimately familiar with how to navigate through the World Baseball Classic while getting ready for a season, as both have been through this process before. In fact, they are two of just 16 players to have appeared in each of the first three World Baseball Classic events.
How long all of these players will be away from Cardinals camp will be determined by when their country begins pool play and how deep the team advances in the tournament. In some cases, the absence could stretch to nearly three weeks.
The World Baseball Classic runs from March 6-22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. Internationally, the tournament will be distributed across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.