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Padres' contingent set to depart for Classic

Five players in big league camp leave Sunday
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jamie Romak didn't need to speak to answer the question.

What does it mean to represent Canada at the World Baseball Classic this month? The outfielder merely rolls up his sleeve.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jamie Romak didn't need to speak to answer the question.

What does it mean to represent Canada at the World Baseball Classic this month? The outfielder merely rolls up his sleeve.

"Automatic goosebumps," Romak says, pointing to his arm. "That's really how it feels."

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Romak is one of five Padres in big league camp who will depart for the World Baseball Classic on Sunday. Yangervis Solarte and Jhoulys Chacin will join Venezuela, while non-roster invites Carlos Fisher and Luis Urias will play for Mexico.

"It's a dream," said Solarte. "When you're a kid, you dream of being able to play with that team. And I can't believe it."

Chacin and Solarte will play in Sunday's game before they depart. Team Mexico will work out at Padres' camp on Monday, and the two sides will play an exhibition game the following day.

Three Minor Leaguers will also take part in the Classic, including first baseman Josh Naylor (Canada) and pitchers Jose Castillo (Venezuela) and Bryan Rodriguez (Dominican Republic). All eight players in the organization would compete at Petco Park from March 14-18 if they advance past their first-round pools.

"It's a huge thing for the country," Chacin said. "We are a baseball country. We really want to do well -- for us and for [the fans.]"

Added Romak: "There's no other feeling like it -- a ton of pride. Baseball in Canada is a close-knit community. And it's a stage where all that matters is winning, which is the greatest thing."

Padres adjust Myers' positioning

Wil Myers' won't be making many tweaks to his defensive game. In his first full season at first base, he finished as a Gold Glove finalist and took to the position as though he had played it for years.

But the Padres are tinkering with one aspect of Myers' defense: his positioning in relation to the bag. Last season, they noticed he was stationed closer to the line than any other first baseman in the big leagues. That has changed noticeably this spring, with Myers playing well into the hole against right-handed hitters.

"I've got to trust where I'm playing and trust that I'm going to be able to get back," Myers said. "But it's definitely going to save the team some hits."

That improvement isn't going to come instantly. Myers is still learning the nuances of playing so far off the base.

"Instinct still takes him back to first base immediately, so it's, to a degree right now, a little bit counter-productive," Padres manager Andy Green said. "... He's getting comfortable out there. He just needs to trust his unbelievable athleticism."

Cordero off to red-hot start

The Padres added 22-year-old center fielder Franchy Cordero to the 40-man roster this offseason in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

A week into Cactus League play, he's showing why the Padres were so bullish on him. Cordero is 4-for-8 with a walk and three extra-base hits.

"He's swung the bat incredibly well," Green said. "He's clearly very athletic, flies around the bases. He'll continue to work in center field. He hasn't been out there long, he's a shortstop convert. Routes have been fine. But I know they're going to improve in time. He's an athlete, who swings the bat very well."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Mexico, San Diego Padres, Venezuela, Canada