OTTAWA – Canada’s 30-player roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic was announced tonight on MLB Network along with those of the other 19 participating nations.
Canada’s roster, managed by Ernie Whitt, is led by 2020 National League Most Valuable Player and six-time All-Star Freddie Freeman (Los Angeles Dodgers) along with two-time Gold Glove outfielder Tyler O’Neill (St. Louis Cardinals).
Heading up the pitching staff are Nick Pivetta of the Boston Red Sox and Cal Quantrill of the Cleveland Guardians.
Freeman, O’Neill, Pivetta and Quantrill are part of a group of ten players named to the roster who played in the big leagues in 2022. The list also includes Matt Brash (Mariners), Otto Lopez (Blue Jays), Bo Naylor (Guardians), Abraham Toro (Mariners, currently with the Brewers), Jared Young (Cubs) and Rob Zastryzny (Mets and Angels, currently with the Pirates).
Also named to the roster are former big leaguers Andrew Albers, Phillippe Aumont, John Axford, Adam Loewen, Scott Mathieson, and Jacob Robson.
Canada’s roster features eight players who previously participated in the World Baseball Classic including Albers (2013, 2017), Aumont (2009, 2013), Axford (2013), Freeman (2017), Loewen (2006, 2013), Mathieson (2006, 2013, 2017), O’Neill (2017) and Pivetta (2017).
In addition, 22 players have represented Canada in previous international competition including five Pan Am Games gold medalists (Albers, Aumont, Kellin Deglan, O’Neill, and Evan Rutckyj) and seven players from Canada’s 2021 Olympic qualifying roster (Albers, Axford, Trevor Brigden, Deglan, Mathieson, Jacob Robson and Rutckyj).
Whitt, who will make history as the only person to manage in all five World Baseball Classic events, is looking forward to once again representing Canada.
“The honour of representing Canada and managing these players is something that means a great deal to me,” said Whitt. “There’s nothing better than international baseball and the intensity of the World Baseball Classic.
“I know our team will be ready to compete once the tournament begins next month.”
Joining Whitt on the coaching staff are Baseball Hall of Famer Larry Walker, former MLB All-Stars Russell Martin and Paul Quantrill, former big leaguer Denis Boucher, former Toronto Blue Jays First Base Coach Tim Leiper and Baseball Canada’s Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton.
Canada will compete in Phoenix as part of Pool C in the First Round along with Colombia, Great Britain, Mexico, and the United States. On March 12th, Canada will open play against Great Britain before taking on the United States on March 13th, Colombia on March 14th, and Mexico on March 15th.
Canada will play a pair exhibition games in Arizona prior to the World Baseball Classic starting against the Chicago Cubs on March 8th in Mesa, before taking on the Seattle Mariners in Peoria on March 9th.
For more information on the World Baseball Classic, please visit: worldbaseballclassic.com