World Baseball Classic 2023: How to watch, schedule, Team USA roster and more
After a two year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Baseball Classic is back! Twenty national teams from around the world, featuring countless MLB stars, will compete for two weeks to become the undisputed baseball champions of the world.
Here’s everything you need to know about the return of the World Baseball Classic after six years.
What is the World Baseball Classic?
The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is essentially the baseball world cup. It was created in 2006 after the International Olympic Committee removed baseball from an Olympic sport in 2005.
The game of pool in the WBC is played in a double elimination round robin system. The top two teams from each of the four pools move forward and play in what MLB.com calls “essentially an eight-team one-elimination bracket.”
When does it start?
The WBC officially starts on Wednesday, but the first game will take place on Tuesday at 11:00 pm ET when Cuba takes on the Netherlands.
Which countries are competing?
There are four pools of five teams that will play each other in four different locations around the world.
Pool A – Taichung, Taiwan
• Chinese Taipei
Group B – Tokyo, Japan
• Czech Republic
Pool C – Phoenix, USA
• Great Britain
Pool D – Miami, USA
• Puerto Rico
• Dominican Republic
Who won last time?
Team USA won the last WBC tournament in 2017, defeating Puerto Rico 8-0 in the final to take home their first WBC trophy. It was only the second time Team USA had made it into the top four.
The Dominican Republic won the 2013 WBC, also defeating Puerto Rico. Japan won the first two WBC tournaments in 2006 and 2009.
Who is on Team USA?
• JT Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies
• Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers
• Kyle Higashioka, New York Yankees
• 1B Pete Alonso, New York Mets
• 1B Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
• 2B Jeff McNeil, New York Mets
• 3B Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
• SS Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox
• SS Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies
• SS Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals
• Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers
• Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles
• Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies
• Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
• Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros
• Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies
• Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks
• Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox
• Nick Martinez, San Diego Padres
• Miles Mykolas, St. Louis Cardinals
• Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals
• Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
• Jason Adam, Tampa Bay Rays
• Daniel Bard, Colorado Rockies
• David Bednar, Pittsburgh Pirates
• Kendall Graveman, Chicago White Sox
• Adam Piccolo, New York Mets
• Ryan Pressley, Houston Astros
• Brooks Reilly, New York Mets
• Devin Williams, Milwaukee Brewers
Team USA is led by 15-year MLB veteran Mark DeRosa, who played for the USA in the 2009 WBC World Championship. He brought in Ken Griffey Jr. as hitting coach and Andy Pettitt as pitching coach.
Which MLB Stars Are Playing?
Even though spring training is in full swing, you can find today’s and yesterday’s (and maybe tomorrow’s) MLB stars on almost every WBC team. Here are some of the highlights.
Australia: LHP Will Sherriff (Diamondbacks)
Canada: 1B Freddie Freeman (Dodgers), RHP John Axford (retired), Denzel Clarke (Oakland Athletics)
Colombia: C Jorge Alfaro (Boston Red Sox), LHP Fernando Abad (Rockies), INF Gio Urshela (Angels)
Cuba: INF Yoan Moncada (White Sox), OF Luis Robert (White Sox)
Dominican Republic: INF Rafael Devers (Red Sox), OF Eloy Jimenez (White Sox), RHP Christian Javier (Astros), RHP Sandy Alcantara (Miami Marlins), INF Julio Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners)
Great Britain: RHP Ryan Long (Orioles), AF Trace Thompson (Dodgers), C Harry Ford (Mariners)
Israel: C Garrett Stubbs (Phillies), Jock Pederson (San Francisco Giants), RHP Jacob Steinmetz (Diamondbacks)
Italy: RHP Michael Nittoli (Chicago Cubs), INF Vinny Pasquantino (Royals), C Vito Fricia (Phillies)
Japan: RHP / OF Shohei Ohtani (Angels), RHP Yu Darvish (Padres), OF Masataka Yoshida (Red Sox), OF Lars Nootbaar (Cardinals)
Mexico: OF Alex Verdugo (Red Sox), RHP Luis Cessa (Reds), RHP Jose Urquidi (Astros), LHP Julio Urias (Dodgers), INF Rowdy Tellez (Brewers), RHP Taijuan Walker (Phillies)
Netherlands: RHP Kenley Jansen (Red Sox), INF Jonathan Shoup (Detroit Tigers), INF Xander Bogaerts (Padres)
Nicaragua: INF Brandon Layton (Reds), RHP Jonathan Loaciga (Yankees), RHP Erasmo Ramirez (Washington Nationals)
Panama: RHP Javi Guerra (Brewers), INF Jonathan Arause (Metz), INF Christian Betancourt (Reis)
Puerto Rico: RHP Yaksel Rios (Brewers), INF/OF Enrique Hernandez (Red Sox), RHP Markus Stroman (White Sox), C Martin Maldonado (Astros), RHP Edwin Diaz (Mets)
Venezuela: HF Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves), AF Anthony Santander (Orioles), IF Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), IF Jose Altuve (Astros), C Salvador Perez (Royals), IF Luis Arraes (Marlins), IF Gleyber Torres (Yankees)
What’s the schedule?
Here is the billiard game schedule:
• Group A: March 8-12.
• Group B: March 9-13.
• Group C: March 11-15.
• Group D: March 11-15.
And here is the information about the final rounds:
• Quarterfinal #1: March 15-16 in Tokyo (winners and runners-up from pools A and B)
• Quarterfinals #2: March 17-18 in Miami (Group C and D winners and runners-up)
• Semifinals: March 19-20 in Miami
• Championship: March 21 in Miami
Billiards daily schedule can be found here.
When is Team USA playing? Here is the schedule until March 15th:
• March 11, 22:00 ET: UK vs. US.
• March 12, 10:00 pm ET: Mexico vs. US.
• March 13 at 10 pm ET: Canada vs. USA
• March 15, 10:00 pm ET: US vs. Colombia
How to watch the World Baseball Classic?
You can watch the World Baseball Classic on FOX, FS1, FS2, Tubi and FOX Deportes. If you live outside the US, you can find information about international broadcasts Here.