DETROIT -- The Tigers are on track to have more players in the World Baseball Classic than any other organization.As expected, Jose Cabrera headlines the heavy Tigers contingent named to national rosters. But Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and Michael Fulmer aren't far behind as big names go.• World Baseball Classic
DETROIT -- The Tigers are on track to have more players in the World Baseball Classic than any other organization.
As expected, Jose Cabrera headlines the heavy Tigers contingent named to national rosters. But Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and Michael Fulmer aren't far behind as big names go.
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Add in Minor League players and there are 15 players from the Tigers organization on seven national rosters for next month's event. Eight of them are on the Tigers' 40-man roster, trailing only the nine players from the Mets.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Most of them were already known or expected, such as Cabrera and Martinez for their native Venezuela and Kinsler for Team USA. Fulmer, however, is a new name. He springboards off his American League Rookie of the Year honor to represent the United States, joining reliever Alex Wilson as potential arms for former Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Fulmer and Wilson are on Team USA as part of its 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, but only by another DP.
Neither Fulmer nor Wilson are currently active for the initial games. Reliever Warwick Saupold is part of the active designated pitcher pool for his native Australia, as is Tigers Minor League pitcher Arcenio Leon for Venezuela. By contrast, relievers Francisco Rodriguez and Bruce Rondon are fully active for Venezuela, as is top relief prospect Joe Jimenez for Puerto Rico, Dustin Molleken for Canada and Travis Blackley for Australia.
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Add Rondon and Rodriguez to Cabrera, Martinez and Leon and the Tigers have five members on Team Venezuela, managed by Tigers first-base coach Omar Vizquel with former Tigers great Carlos Guillen as GM. Detroit's next-highest representation is Team USA with three. Australia (Saupold, Blackley) and Canada (Molleken, Daniel Pinero) have two Tigers each. Jimenez will represent Puerto Rico, while Minor League signing Efren Navarro will represent Mexico and William Cuevas will participate for Colombia.
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.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.