Three Tigers in World Baseball Classic field
After all the speculation on how many Tigers could be headed to the World Baseball Classic, the list is down to three from the big-league roster. Anibal Sanchez and Octavio Dotel will join Miguel Cabrera on provisional rosters for this year’s event.
Sanchez joins Cabrera on Team Venezuela. Octavio Dotel is on the provisional roster for his native Dominican Republic.
Three Tigers minor leaguers are also taking part. Cale Iorg and Shawn Hill are on the roster for Team Canada, while pitcher Warwick Saupold will join former Tiger Brad Thomas on Team Australia.
That’s it. As mentioned earlier, no Tigers are on the provisional roster for Team USA, though it’s reportedly possible that Justin Verlander could take part depending on how his throwing program progresses in the coming weeks. The deadline for setting rosters is Feb. 20, which would give Verlander about eight days of workouts to see how he feels.
Cabrera has taken part in each of the previous two World Baseball Classics. Statistically, it didn’t seem to hurt his 2006 and 2009 seasons. A report from Lieder en Deportes, a Venezuelan sports publication, quoted Cabrera saying he told Venezuelan manager Luis Sojo that he would be open to playing first or third base, since Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is also on the team.
Sanchez and Dotel would both be first-time participants. The Marlins held Sanchez out of consideration for the 2009 event after an injury-shortened 2008 season. Dotel was reportedly on the fence about the 2009 World Baseball Classic before pulling out of consideration.