Starling Marte told the local media in the Dominican on Tuesday night that he will play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic. While he didn’t play back during the 2013 WBC, Marte is joining a team that ran the table that year, going 8-0 in the Classic. The Dominican Republic will be in the same bracket as the United States, Canada and Colombia in the first round, playing their games at Marlins Park in Miami.
Marte also mentioned that the Pirates will not allow him to play winter ball this year to get an early start on preparation for the games, which take place in early March. Marte had just three at-bats after September 5th this season and he finished the year on the disabled list with back tightness.
Earlier on Tuesday, Jon Morosi from MLB.com reported that Francisco Cervelli is on the roster for Team Italy. He last played in the WBC back in 2009. Cervelli joins Jung Ho Kang, who will play shortstop for South Korea, and Jared Lakind, who will pitch in relief for Israel, as the names that have been confirmed
Only a handful of the 16 rosters have been announced, so we could hear more names soon.