MILWAUKEE -- Doug Melvin's Brewers are Major League Baseball's most Canadian club this side of Toronto, so it came as little surprise Saturday when three of Milwaukee's players were included on a provisional Canadian roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Relievers John Axford and Jim Henderson, and infielder Taylor Green were among 23 players on a list submitted by Baseball Canada to World Baseball Classic, Inc., which is expected to officially announce rosters for the event on Thursday evening on MLB Network.
The three Brewers are among 12 players who appeared in Major League Baseball in 2012 -- others include Justin Morneau of the Twins, Russell Martin of the Pirates, Jesse Crain of the White Sox, Michael Saunders of the Mariners and Brett Lawrie of the Blue Jays. Lawrie, the former Brewers prospect traded to Toronto for Shaun Marcum in December 2010, also played in the Classic in 2009.
Canada will play a pair of exhibitions in Arizona to warm up for the Classic, including a March 5 game at Maryvale Baseball Park against the Brewers. The Canadian team then opens this year's tournament against Italy on March 8.
As of Saturday afternoon, five Brewers players had been confirmed for the Classic. Outfielder Ryan Braun and catcher Jonathan Lucroy will play for Team USA. A maximum of eight players from each team's 40-man roster are eligible to play in the Classic.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.