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World Baseball Classic begins late Friday night

Five St. Louis Cardinals players will soon be taking leave from the club’s spring training camps to participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Major Leaguers are catcher Yadier Molina and outfielder Carlos Beltran of Puerto Rico, right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs with USA and right-handed reliever Fernando Salas from Mexico. Double-A right-handed pitcher Richard Castillo will be competing for Spain.

At this point, it is unclear whether Beltran’s toe injury suffered on Thursday will affect his participation plans. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is hoping Molina will play some first base for Puerto Rico instead of catching throughout. (Update: A Saturday report has Beltran leaving Cardinals camp for the event.)

The time away from Jupiter for the Cardinals’  five participants will depend upon how far their countries advance.

The WBC games will be played through March 19 with the first one starting late Friday night, Australia at Taiwan. All 39 contests will be televised on MLB Network.

First Round

Pool A: Brazil, China, Cuba, Japan (defending champion) / at Fukuoka, Japan / March 2-6

Pool B: Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Netherlands / at Taichung, Taiwan / March 1-5

Pool C: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, Venezuela / at San Juan, PR / March 7-10

Pool D: Canada, Italy, Mexico, United States / at Phoenix / March 7-10

There is a 15-run rule after five innings and a 10-run rule after seven innings that would mean an early game end in the first two rounds.

The two teams with the highest winning percentages in each pool advance to the second round.

Second Round

Pool 1: Pool A and B winners / Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan / March 7-12

Pool 2: Pool C and D winners / Marlins Park, Miami / March 12-16

The second round is a double-elimination format with six total games in each pool.

The sixth and final game in each pool will have a team with a 2-0 record against a 2-1 team.

Championship Round

Semi-finals / AT&T Park, San Francisco / March 17-18

Championship / AT&T Park, San Francisco / March 19

The semi-finals and final will be single-elimination.

Link to full schedule details. You can also find team rosters and other information while at the official WBC website.

Though the WBC is an irritation to some in the US due to its disruption of spring training camps, it is considered important to foster the globalization of the game. From the proceeds of the 2009 WBC, a prize pool of $14 million was distributed to the teams and another $15 million went to the participating federations and the International Baseball Federation.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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28 Responses to “World Baseball Classic begins late Friday night”

  1. crdswmn says:

    You know, MLB broadcasting these games on MLB.TV would be a boon for those of us who don’t get MLB Network.

  2. blingboy says:

    We shouldn’t dismiss Kelly as the 5th starter. He has more MLB starting experience than Miller or Rosenthal.

  3. blingboy says:

    It seems to be Wainy, Garcia, Westbrook, Lynn, Kelly.

  4. crdswmn says:

    Ronny must have learned to throw from Aura.

  5. crdswmn says:

    At the risk of talking to myself, I want to know what has happened with Chris Carpenter. Did he fall off the face of the earth or is he just in hiding?

    • Nutlaw says:

      What more do you want to hear from him right now? He doesn’t have anything to do or say, I figure.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I think he is trying to get to the bottom of his health issues.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Working out with the kids?…………..he doing the same reps? weight????…………. training like he had been completely rehabbed? ………… if he doesn’t reenter last year …………he probably has that rehab which gets him on the field this spring……… long he would have lasted???????? LOOKS like he had the GREEN LIGHT though ………………… that surgery was designed to relieve the stress from ONE activity……… think about that……….he goes to Brazil….hits the weights and goes down……. he does the surgery…….pampers himself…….does whats necessary to start/try throwing……. and he does……. 12.5…..he have any supervision? ………. they guarding their investment ?………..question is ..which investment……………

  6. blingboy says:

    I heard about 10 minutes of the game at lunch, including Holliday getting thrown out. Shannon said he rounded third like he was carrying a refrigerator. Is he nursing something, or just slacking?

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