January 05, 2023 10:24
Korea's roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic tournament was announced on Thursday. The quadrennial event will run from March 8 through 21.
The 30-man roster includes half-Korean player Tommy Edman of the St. Louis Cardinals, who was born to a Korean mother and an American father.
The WBC, sponsored by Major League Baseball, allows players to compete for the countries of their parents' or grandparents birth.
Edman recently notified the Korea Baseball Organization that he was available to play for Korea. Edman, whose middle name is Hyunsu, is the first non-Korean to join the national team since the inaugural WBC in 2006.
He won a Gold Glove Award as the top defensive second baseman in the National League in 2021 and is expected to be a key player in the infield, along with shortstop Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres.
Former and current major leaguers are also included. Among pitchers, Kim Kwang-hyun of the SSG Landers and Yang Hyun-jong of the Kia Tigers returned to the Korean league last year after playing for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers, respectively.
Kim Ha-seong had a successful second season with the Padres, appearing in the postseason and being shortlisted for the Gold Glove for the National League shortstop position.
Choi Ji-man of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who is still in rehabilitation after undergoing surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right elbow in November last year, has often expressed a desire to play for Korea. Choi, who was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays during the off-season, needs his team's consent to play in the WBC, but has not yet received an answer from the club.
The final roster must be submitted by Feb. 8.
Lee Jung-hoo of the Kiwoom Heroes will also represent the country in his first WBC, giving him a chance to show off his skills as he is seeking to play in the major leagues after finishing the next season.
The national team will train at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona from Feb. 14 to 27 before moving to Japan for the first round of the WBC.
Korea, led by manager Lee Kang-chul, is grouped with Australia, China, the Czech Republic and Japan. It will face Australia on March 9, Japan on March 10, the Czech Republic on March 12 and China on March 13 at Tokyo Dome.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the next round.
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