Following a pandemic-related hiatus, the World Baseball Classic will return in 2023.. The WBC itself will be held across the globe next March. It will be the fifth installment of the WBC.
The WBC is expanding to 20 teams for the first time, and the 16 teams that participated in the 2017 WBC have an automatic berth for 2023: Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United States and Venezuela. The Czech Republic, Great Britain, Nicaragua, and Panama secured the final four seeds during qualifying events in September and October.
Japan won the 2006 and 2009 WBCs before the Dominican Republic won the 2013 WBC. Team USA won the 2017 WBC and will look to defend its title next spring. Over the last few weeks, Team USA’s roster has begun to take shape and it will continue to come together over the next several weeks. The rosters won’t be finalized until well into the offseason.
On Aug. 19, GM Tony Reagins announced longtime big leaguer Mark DeRosa will serve as USA’s manager for the 2023 WBC. DeRosa played for USA in the 2009 WBC and has worked as an MLB Network analyst since retiring as a player in Nov. 2013.
“I’m completely honored and humbled to be named the manager of Team USA,” DeRosa said in a statement. “Competing in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for Team USA was one of the greatest experiences of my baseball journey. Getting the chance to lead this star-studded roster and represent our country is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to get started.”
DeRosa’s coaching staff will include bench coach Jerry Manuel, hitting coach Ken Griffey Jr., pitching coach Andy Pettitte, first base coach Lou Collier, third base coach Dino Ebel and bullpen coach Dave Righetti. Manuel managed nine years in the big leagues and Griffey played for USA in the inaugural 2006 WBC. Righetti was the pitching coach for the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series champion Giants.
“The wealth of baseball knowledge on this coaching staff is second to none,” Reagins said in a statement. “Jerry will bring a lifetime of baseball experience to the dugout to assist Mark as his bench coach while former All-Stars Dave Righetti and Andy Pettitte will handle the pitching staff. Dino & Lou who have spent a lifetime in …