A complete list of Cubs players taking part in 2023 World Baseball Classic
The 2023 World Baseball Classic is shaping up to be quite the tournament and the Cubs will be well represented.
WBC rosters were announced Thursday evening and 16 members of the Cubs organization will be taking part.
Marcus Stroman and Seiya Suzuki headline that list and they’ll be joined by Cubs prospects Matt Mervis, B.J. Murray, Danis Correa and Owen Caissie, among others.
Here’s the complete list:
RHP Marcus Stroman — Puerto Rico
OF Seiya Suzuki — Japan
1B Matt Mervis — Israel
OF Owen Caissie — Canada
OF Nelson Velázquez — Puerto Rico
IF/OF Miles Mastrobuoni — Italy
RHP Javier Assad — Mexico
IF/OF Jared Young — Canada
RHP Danis Correa — Colombia
IF B.J. Murray — Great Britain
OF Ben DeLuzio — Italy
LHP Roenis Elias — Cuba
RHP Vinny Nittoli — Italy
IF Liam Spence — Australia
IF Fabian Pertuz — Colombia
RHP Curtis Taylor — Canada
Cubs 2022 11th-round draft pick Branden Noriega is also a part of the Great Britain roster in the Designated Pitcher Pool.
The Cubs initially had a larger pool of players in the mix for the World Baseball Classic.
New addition Trey Mancini was committed to Team Italy but now that he has signed with the Cubs, he will instead focus on acclimating to his new team in Spring Training. Nick Madrigal (Mexico), Rowan Wick (Canada), Christopher Morel (Dominican Republic), Miguel Amaya (Panama) and Adbert Alzolay (Venezuela) were all potentially going to take part in the worldwide event but will now turn their attention to competing for a roster spot in Spring Training and avoiding the added injury risk.
After the lockout had a major impact on Spring Training last season, Suzuki now has another complication to tend to this spring. But the Cubs are confident he’ll be ready by the time Opening Day rolls around.
“Whether you have a clean Spring Training or things aren’t perfect to start or whatever,” David Ross said at Winter Meetings, “or maybe he starts on fire because of already facing great pitching. None of us know that.
“I don’t think that will be something we would blame or make an excuse. It doesn’t matter. You gotta go out and play and perform and win games. He’s our starting right fielder. He’ll be prepared. He works his tail off.”
Mervis exploded onto the national scene with a breakout 2022 minor league season and enters this year with a non-roster invite to big league camp and in competition for a spot on the Opening Day roster. But when presented with the opportunity to play for Team Israel, it was a no-brainer.
“It’s really exciting for me,” Mervis said at Cubs Convention last month. “It’s an honor for me. I want to make my family proud. I want to make Team Israel proud. I’m really looking forward to that.”
DeLuzio, Elias, Nittoli and Taylor were minor league signings this winter and all but Taylor were invited to MLB camp to compete as non-roster invitees.
The Cubs acquired Mastrobuoni from the Rays in a November trade and he is on the 40-man roster. Velázquez, Young and Assad made their big-league debuts in 2022 and Correa may not be far behind after finishing the year in the Triple-A Iowa bullpen.
Caissie, 20, is still probably a year or so away from Wrigley Field but should gain valuable experience playing for Team Canada. Murray, 23, is an infield prospect to keep an eye on in 2023.