DENVER – Rockies right-hander Germán Márquez on Sunday said he plans to pitch for Venezuela in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Some steps need to occur to make it official. Team Venezuela has to extend a formal invitation, and Márquez will have to receive approval from Rockies manager Bud Black, general manager Bill Schmidt and head athletic trainer Keith Dugger. But Márquez, a National League All-Star last season, said he has received a clear indication he will be invited, and he has made plans to pitch in winter ball, for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, for the first time in his pro career.
“From when I was a kid, I wanted to have the ‘Venezuela’ letters on my chest,” Márquez said. “It’s going to be a dream, and I have to be ready. It’s during Spring Training, so I think I’m going to play winter ball.”
Márquez watched the first WBC in 2006 as a child, but he delayed the dream of representing his home country in 2017.
“I was a rookie, battling for a spot in the [Rockies’] rotation,” said Márquez, who earned the spot and was part of a young staff that helped the Rockies to their first postseason appearance since 2009.
The WBC begins in March 2023. Venezuela is part of Pool D with Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Israel and a team from a Qualifiers Tournament. The Qualifiers Tournaments begin next month.