LOS ANGELES -- A quintet of Angels will take a leave from Spring Training next month to participate in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which will run from March 6-22.Infielder Andrelton Simmons will suit up for the Netherlands; left-hander Jose Alvarez, righty Yusmeiro Petit and right-hander Deolis Guerra will represent
LOS ANGELES -- A quintet of Angels will take a leave from Spring Training next month to participate in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which will run from March 6-22.
Infielder Andrelton Simmons will suit up for the Netherlands; left-hander Jose Alvarez, righty Yusmeiro Petit and right-hander Deolis Guerra will represent Venezuela; and Minor League right-hander Samuel Holland will play for Australia.
Simmons, a native of Curacao, will make his second career appearance in the World Baseball Classic after helping to propel the Netherlands to a fourth-place finish in the 2013 tournament. Simmons started at shortstop and batted .333 (10-for-30) with two home runs, three doubles and six RBIs over that eight-game stretch with the Dutch team.
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Simmons, 27, will join a loaded Netherlands infield that will also feature the Yankees' Didi Gregorius, the Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts and the Orioles' Jonathan Schoop.
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Alvarez and Guerra, two bullpen candidates for the Angels, will both make their World Baseball Classic debut with Venezuela. Guerra, 27, recorded a 3.21 ERA over 53 1/3 innings for Los Angeles in 2016. Alvarez, 27, posted a 3.45 ERA over 57 1/3 innings for the Halos last season, and he will open the tournament as an active designated pitcher for Venezuela.
The Angels signed Petit to a Minor League deal (with an invitation to Majors camp) on Wednesday. The righty posted a 4.50 ERA in 36 games, including one start (62 innings) for the Nationals in 2016.
Each team has the option of using the designated pitcher pool (DPP), which works like this: A team can use up to 10 designated pitchers but can't have more than two on its active roster at a time. Those active DPs can be replaced at the beginning of each of the next two rounds, but only by another DP. Once a DP has been replaced, he cannot return to the active roster for a subsequent round. Using Team USA as an example, Danny Duffy and Tanner Roark are the active DPs for the first round of pool play, so they can be replaced on the roster before the second round or the championship round, but only by one of the team's other DPs. And if a DP joins for the second round, he can be replaced for the championship round.
Alvarez, Guerra and Petit will look to help Venezuela seek redemption from its disappointing showing in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, when its talented squad was ousted after only three games.
Holland will also get his first taste of the World Baseball Classic by playing with Australia. The 22-year-old right-hander recorded a 0.83 ERA in 43 1/3 innings across two Minor League levels in 2016 and finished the season with Class A Inland Empire.
In 2013, the Aussies weren't able to win a single game and were eliminated in the first round of the World Baseball Classic.
The World Baseball Classic runs from March 6-22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. Internationally, the tournament will be distributed across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.