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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

If you’ve noticed the Red Sox getting some of their key players involved earlier than usual in spring training, you’re not wrong. Starters and other key contributors have been thrown into early spring training games, unlike most years.

This is because those players are leaving camp this week to join their respective countries at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which begins on Tuesday night. This year’s tournament – the fifth iteration of the event and first since 2017, features 20 countries and will run through the championship game on March 21. The full schedule of games can be found here.

In total, the Red Sox have 11 players on WBC rosters this year, representing a total of eight countries. Of those 11 players, eight are on the team’s 40-man roster. As games get started this week, here are the Red Sox players  you can expect to see…

  • 3B Rafael Devers, Dominican Republic

    BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 3: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox follows through on the go ahead RBI sacrifice fly during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on October 3, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 3: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox follows through on the go ahead RBI sacrifice fly during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on October 3, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    Devers will be one of the stars on a contending Dominican team. He is the only Red Sox player representing the country this year, and is making his first WBC appearance.

  • UTL Kiké Hernández, Puerto Rico

    BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 3: Enrique Hernandez #5 of the Boston Red Sox throws out Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning at Fenway Park on October 3, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 3: Enrique Hernandez #5 of the Boston Red Sox throws out Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning at Fenway Park on October 3, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    Hernandez is listed as an infielder for Team Puerto Rico. He also played for his country in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, where he hit .267 in six games.

  • OF Alex Verdugo, Mexico

    CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 20: Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox hits a single in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

    CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 20: Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox hits a single in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

    Verdugo was born in Arizona, but is eligible to play for Team Mexico because of his heritage. His father Joe was born in the country, and he curranty has family members living there. He regularly wears cleats or other gear honoring that heritage.

    This will be the second tournament in a row that Verdugo plays for Team Mexico. He went 5-for-14 in the 2017 tournament.

     

  • OF Jarren Duran, Mexico

    duran

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 09: Jarren Duran #40 of the Boston Red Sox runs the bases on a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at Fenway Park on August 09, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

    Like Verdugo, Durran was born in the US but is eligible to play for Team Mexico. He’ll be making his WBC debut.

  • OF Masataka Yoshida, Japan

    FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 27: Masataka Yoshida #7 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 27, 2023 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

    FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 27: Masataka Yoshida #7 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 27, 2023 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

    Before making his MLB debut Yoshida – the Red Sox biggest offseason acquisition – will play for his home country in the World Baseball Classic. He’s played for Team Japan in other events, but never the WBC.

  • RP Kenley Jansen, Netherlands

    Feb 15, 2023; Fort Myers, FL, USA;  Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) participates in spring training workouts at Fenway South Player Development Complex. Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 15, 2023; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) participates in spring training workouts at Fenway South Player Development Complex. Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    Jansen is part of the Netherlands’ Designated Player Pool, which allows each team to designate additional pitchers for their roster should they need to add during the tournament. He’ll stay in Red Sox camp for now, but could get the call to join the team in the coming weeks. Jansen spoke recently about wanting to stay in MLB camp to get used to the new pitch clock rules.

  • RP Richard Bleier, Israel

    Feb 15, 2023; Fort Myers, FL, USA;  Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Richard Bleier (35) participates in spring training workouts at Fenway South Player Development Complex. Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 15, 2023; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Richard Bleier (35) participates in spring training workouts at Fenway South Player Development Complex. Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    Individuals of Jewish heritage, such as Bleier, are eligible to play for Team Israel. He previously pitched for Israel during the qualifying rounds of the 2013 WBC, but not in the tournament itself. The Red Sox acquired Bleier for Matt Barnes in a trade in late January.

  • C Jorge Alfaro, Colombia

    Alfaro is the first of five players heading to the WBC from the Red Sox who are not on the 40-man roster. However, he has been with the team in camp as a non-roster invitee. This will be his second World Baseball Classic.

  • RP Norwith Gudino, Venezuela

    Gudino is another non-roster invtee to Red Sox MLB camp. Like Jansen, he’s in his country’s Designated Player Pool. If he gets called up, it’ll be for his first WBC action.

  • INF Edwin Diaz, Puerto Rico

    Diaz will join Hernandez on team Puerto Rico. He joined the Red Sox as a minor league free agent this year after spending last season in the Astros system.

  • RP Rio Gomez, Colombia

    Gomez joins Team Colombia’s roster outright as a relief pitcher. He’s been working his way up the Red Sox system since being drafted by the team in the 36th round in 2017.

  • SP Nick Pivetta, Canada

    May 18, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (37) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    May 18, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (37) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    When the rosters were announced, Pivetta was expected to be one of the aces of Team Canada’s rotation. However, he was removed from the roster last month as he works his way back from an illness.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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