The World Baseball Classic started in 2006. In the four times the tournament has occurred, Japan has two championships, the Dominican Republic has one, and the USA has the most recent in 2017. The WBC will return in early March of 2023 after postponing in 2021 due to COVID-19.
As you might recall, Marcus Stroman had quite the coming-out party in 2017 when he pitched for Team USA in the WBC. He already had some success in the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays, but the WBC certainly boosted his popularity. His flair and effectiveness were on full display. Stro dominated in the championship-clinching game, pitching six shutout innings. He earned MVP honors for his efforts after making three starts and posting a 2.35 ERA.
In 2013, Stroman tweeted about pitching in the next WBC. “Hopefully have the chance to represent my mom and Puerto Rico in the next World Baseball Classic! That would be unreal. #latinoboy,” he wrote.
Stroman instead chose to play for Team USA and defeated Puerto Rico 8-0 in the championship game. Stro took to Twitter again in 2021, four years after winning the MVP and championship with Team USA. “That was for my mother and the hate she received from me choosing to play for USA over Puerto Rico. God always got my back!”
This time around, Marcus Stroman will represent Puerto Rico, looking to bring home the hardware for his mother once again. So far, in four starts pitching for the Cubs in July, Stroman has a 0.89 ERA in 20.1 IP.
The WBC will start pool play in Taiwan on March 8, 2023. The championship game will be on March 21, 2023, at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida. Puerto Rico will play in Pool D at LoanDepot Park against Dominican Republic, Israel, Venezuela, and a Qualifier winner.
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