Reporter Kim Hee-joon = The final list of 30 players from 20 countries participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) will be released on the 10th at 8:00 am (Korean time) through the MLB Network.
The MLB Network announced on the 9th that “the entire roster will be released through live broadcasting.”
Twenty countries submitted their final list of 30 players to the WBC Organizing Committee by the 8th, the deadline for the final entry. In the event of an injury after the final list is submitted, another player may be substituted.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has already announced the final list on the 4th of last month. The Korean baseball team, led by KT Wiz coach Lee Kang-chul, will gather at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona on the 14th of this month and begin training in preparation for the WBC.
Korea competes in Group 1 with Japan, Australia, China and the Czech Republic in the first round of the WBC.
Japan’s “nemesis” also released the final list early, including five big leaguers, including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres). The Japanese national team will begin joint training in Miyazaki Prefecture on the 17th.
Among the countries in the same group, China and the Czech Republic are considered one less.
What Korea’s attention is focused on is the final list of ‘ambush’ Australia. Objectively, Korea has the upper hand, but Australia is a vigilant opponent.
There are several major leaguers from Australia, but it is not known whether they were included in the final roster.
However, right-handed pitcher Liam Hendricks 안전놀이터, who has played in the major leagues since 2011 as a representative Australian big leaguer, was diagnosed with ‘non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma’ and was excluded from the entry.
Australian Tampa Bay race prospect Curtis Mead also announced that he would not attend the WBC, saying he would focus on the team’s spring camp.
It is highly likely that Australia has built its national team around players playing in its own league. Warwick Saupold, who is from Australia and played for the Hanwha Eagles in the KBO League, is expected to be included in the national team.
Korea is thinking of securing a foothold for advancing to the quarterfinals by beating Australia, its first opponent. The top two teams in each group will be given tickets to the second round.
Coach Lee, the coaching staff of the national team, and the power analysis team visited Australia in person early last month to watch the Australian Professional Baseball League (ABL) game in order to gauge the strength of Australia, which is shrouded in mystery.