The 2023 edition of the World Baseball Classic is set to begin in March, and tonight brought the official unveiling of the respective rosters for the participants. While it’s little surprise that none of the Cincinnati Reds offensive players will be representing anyone anywhere, it was widely expected that we’d see at least a few of their arms representing their homes.
That’s the case, as it turns out, as each of Alexis Díaz, Fernando Cruz, and Luis Cessa will be available to toe the rubber - the first two for Puerto Rico, and the latter for his home country of Mexico. The Reds themselves helped relay the news on Twitter.
Couple righties coming out the 'pen for PR— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 9, 2023
Alexis Díaz and Fernando Cruz will play for Team Puerto Rico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic❗️ pic.twitter.com/WkqKs75IlE
Luis Cessa will play for Team Mexico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic! pic.twitter.com/YbYtfuIHLO— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 9, 2023
Díaz and Cruz are expected to open the 2023 Major League Baseball season as cogs in the Cincinnati bullpen, while Cessa’s role is still yet to be defined - he’s been a reliever for most of his career but got starts down the stretch in 2022 when the rest of the Reds staff was decimated. It will therefore be interesting to see how he’s used for Mexico’s WBC team given that the tournament will take place when he’d otherwise potentially be prepping for the MLB regular season.
** UPDATE **
It appears another pair of Reds bullpen candidates will be participating in the WBC, too.
The Reds have relayed that Ian Gibaut will pitch for Great Britain, doing so since his father was born in the Bailiwick of Jersey. Cool!
Ian Gibaut will pitch for Team Great Britain in the 2023 World Baseball Classic! pic.twitter.com/9DjJuUvPR3— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 10, 2023
Lefty Reiver Sanmartin will pitch for Colombia, as the Reds also relayed.
The Colombian Lefty— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 10, 2023
Reiver Sanmartin will pitch for Team Colombia in the 2023 World Baseball Classic! pic.twitter.com/8zVclvC082
In addition to those players off the big league roster who are set to play in the WBC, 11 minor leaguers within the Reds system will be there, too.