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Twins (and former Twins) in the World Baseball Classic

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On Thursday, the 2013 World Baseball Classic rosters were announced. The day began with MLB Network unveiling Team USA. In the afternoon, the rosters of the other participating countries were announced. Three years ago, Tom Stuifbergen became a household name for the team from The Netherlands when he, under the tutelage of Bert Blyleven, threw five shutout innings against the vaunted lineup of the Dominican Republic. He and several other Twins players (past, present and future) will be participating in this year’s tournament/exhibition. Before getting to those Twins related players, here is a rundown of where the games are taking place and which teams are involved.

Pool A will take place in Fukuoka, Japan. It will include teams from Japan, Brazil, Cuba and China.

Pool B will be March 2-5 in Taichung, Taiwan. The teams participating there will be Chinese Taipei, The Netherlands, Korea, and Australia.

Pool C will be played March 7-10 in San Juan Puerto Rico. Teams there will be Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Spain.

Finally, Pool D will be held in Phoenix on March 7-10. Along with Team USA will be Canada, Mexico and Italy.

As we knew previous, Minnesotans and Minnesota Twins, Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins will be on Team USA.

As was reported here yesterday, Eddie Rosario will be part of a pretty impressive Puerto Rican outfield (Beltran, Rios, Pagan, Torres). As you read here earlier today, JO Berrios is also on the roster. So is former Twins LHP JC Romero.

Team Australia is, as you would expect, full of players formerly in the Twins organization. The one current Twins player is infielder James Beresford. He is joined by former Twins Luke Hughes, Justin Huber and Brad Thomas. He’s also joined by former Twins farmhands Matt Williams, Brendan Wise, and Peter Moylan. Also, Ryan-Rowland Smith is on the roster. He was a Rule 5 pick of the Twins who was sent back to the Mariners. Liam Hendriks’ is not playing due to his elbow surgery in September.

Jose Mijares will be playing for the team from Venezuela.

Drew Butera will be on Team Italy. Former Twin infielder Nick Punto is also on the Italy roster, as is Twins minor leaguer Chris Colabello. What a 12-month period it has been for him! Former Twins first-round pick, Dan Serafini, is also on their roster.

Team Canada will include 1B Justin Morneau. As we heard awhile ago, Scott Diamond is not playing due to his elbow surgery in December. However, minor league lefty Andrew Albers is on the roster. Former Twin Rene Tosoni will also be on the team. So will former RHP Jesse Crain.

Ray Chang, from Kansas City and who has played in the Twins org the last two seasons, is again on Team China in the #WBC.

Carlos Gomez will be on the Dominican Republic roster.

Luis Ayala’s time with the Twins was short, and oh-so memorable. He’ll be on the team from Mexico.

Finally, Tom Stuifbergen and Bert Blyleven will be reunited on the team from the Netherlands. Joining them will be tall, Also, Twins minor leaguer Shairon Martis will be on the roster. RHP Loek Van Mil, a long-time Twins farmhand.
Who knows who will win the baseball exhibition? The primary thing for me is that all of the Twins players come back healthy!

Feel free to discuss.
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