CLEVELAND -- The Indians saw something different in Carlos Santana after he returned from the World Baseball Classic four years ago. Maybe it was the passion surrounding the tournament, or the fact that he was around some of his country's best players, but the first baseman returned to Spring Training
CLEVELAND -- The Indians saw something different in Carlos Santana after he returned from the World Baseball Classic four years ago. Maybe it was the passion surrounding the tournament, or the fact that he was around some of his country's best players, but the first baseman returned to Spring Training revitalized.
"Santana came back really energized after playing for the Dominican team," Indians general manager Mike Chernoff said. "So, I think that can have a positive effect. Carlos, at that time of his career, got to be around some of the best players in the world, and I think that rubbed off on him."
The 2017 World Baseball Classic rosters were unveiled on MLB Network on Wednesday night, and Cleveland will have 11 players -- four from its planned Major League roster -- heading to the tournament. Santana will once again suit up for the Dominican Republic, which is aiming to defend its '13 Classic championship. Relief ace Andrew Miller (USA), shortstop Francisco Lindor (Puerto Rico) and catcher Roberto Perez (Puerto Rico) will also play for their countries.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Others from Cleveland's organization who are on World Baseball Classic rosters include reliever Joseph Colon (Puerto Rico), third baseman Giovanny Urshela (Colombia), first baseman Chris Colabello (Italy), lefty Luis Lugo (Italy), second baseman Tyler Krieger (Israel), righty Ping-Hsueh Chen (Chinese Taipei) and righty Shao-Ching Chiang (Chinese Taipei).
• World Baseball Classic tickets
Lefty Bruce Chen, who currently works in the Indians' player development department as a cultural development coordinator, is also on Team China's roster. Chen, 39, retired in 2015 after a 17-year Major League career that included stints with 11 teams. Chen ended his playing career with a two-game tour in '15 with Cleveland, which hired him for his current role prior to this past season.
The 16-team tournament begins on March 6 and ends with the championship round from March 20-22 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Other host cities throughout the World Baseball Classic include: Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; Jalisco, Mexico; Miami and San Diego.
Colon and Urshela on are the Tribe's 40-man roster, Colabello will be in camp with the Indians this spring as a non-roster invitee and Krieger (15th on the Indians' Top 30 prospect list, per MLBPipeline.com) represents the top prospect taking part in the Classic.
Both Colon (active) and Chen have been listed as part of the designated pitcher pool (DPP) for their respective countries.
Each team has the option of using the DPP, which works like this: A team can use up to 10 designated pitchers, but it can't have more than two on its active roster at a time. Those "active" DP's 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 DP's 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 DP's. If a DP joins for the second round, he can be replaced for the championship round, but only by another DP.
Following an outstanding 2016 season, and an impressive postseason performance that helped him net the Most Valuable Player Award in the American League Championship Series, Miller will pitch for Team USA. The Indians plan on working closely with their relief ace, who is under contract for $9 million, to develop a pitching program that balances preparing for Cleveland's regular season while also allowing him to pitch for the United States.
• Rules for the 2017 WBC
"There are for more complicated factors for pitchers than position players," Chris Antonetti, the Indians president of baseball operations, said earlier this offseason. "You try to come up with the best plan to help them prepare to play."
Lindor, 23, attended Classic games in Puerto Rico during the inaugural tournament in 2006. From his seat in Hiram Bithorn Stadium more than a decade ago, a young Lindor dreamed of someday suiting up for his home country. Now a Gold Glove-winning shortstop, Lindor is realizing that dream.
"It's an honor. It's a blessing. I'm excited," Lindor said last month. "I'm very excited. I can't wait. I can't wait to wear my Puerto Rican jersey. I'm proud of my country. I want to represent it everywhere I go. That's the reason I play: For Puerto Rico, for Cleveland and for my family."
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.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.