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Victorino named to Team USA's Classic roster

BOSTON -- Shane Victorino was already excited about the 2013 season because he was starting a new chapter with the Red Sox. Now, he also has the upcoming World Baseball Classic to look forward to.

The switch-hitting outfielder was named to the provisional Team USA roster on Thursday morning. It is a return to the international stage for Victorino, who also participated in the 2009 Classic.

"Honored to represent my country and put this jersey on with PRIDE!," Victorino tweeted, while also posting a picture of his No. 50 Team USA jersey from 2009.

The only other Red Sox Major Leaguer named to a provisional roster is right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who will represent Mexico.

Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz removed themselves from consideration for this year's Classic, because they are coming off injuries from last season.

Two Red Sox prospects have also been invited to the Classic, including highly-touted shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who will play for the Netherlands.

The other Boston Minor Leaguer is right-hander Jose De La Torre, who is on the provisional roster for Puerto Rico.

Victorino, who hit .316 (6-for-19) with three runs scored, a walk and an RBI during eight games in the 2009 Classic, joins outfielders Ryan Braun, Adam Jones and Giancarlo Stanton on a squad that will be managed by Joe Torre, who won four World Series championships with the Yankees.

Torre and Team USA must submit a final roster by Feb. 20.

"Having talked to all of these players, I sense a great deal of excitement about representing the United States in the World Baseball Classic," Torre said. "I share their excitement and look forward to managing this talented group in March."

The Red Sox signed Victorino to a three-year, $39 million contract in December. Victorino has spent most of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, but he spent the latter portion of 2012 with the Dodgers.

Boston Red Sox, United States, Shane Victorino