The Brewers announced over the weekend that they would be breaking the fourteen player cap, and sending a fifteenth player to the World Baseball Classic in March. Right-hander Nick Bucci will be on the mound for team Canada during the tournament, getting the go-ahead nod from Brewers officials late last week. With Bucci now committed to attend, Milwaukee boasts the most presence at the Classic of any major league organization.
Scott Richmond, of the Korean Baseball Organization, was originally slated to start for Canada, but an unexpected injury forced him to decline the invitation, opening the spot for Bucci. The twenty-two year old joins fellow pitchers John Axford and Jim Henderson on the Canadian roster, as well as third-basemen Taylor Green and outfielder René Tosoni. Those five represent the most Brewers on any single-country's roster for the event, more than doubling the number of team personnel on any other squad.
Bucci, born in Ontario, was drafted in 2008 out of high school. Seen as a promising talent on the mound, he was forced to sit out nearly all of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury suffered during Spring Training. Returning late in the year for six starts with Class A Brevard County, he put up an impressive two-and-two record with just under a 2.00ERA and thirty-seven strikeouts in thirty-two innings. He was added to the Brewers forty-man roster in mid-November, and is expected to make a number of appearances in 2013.
Ryan Braun To Play In Classic
Among other active Brewers joining their home nation's teams at the Classic are Ryan Braun and Johnathan Lucroy for the United States. Marco Estrada and Yovanni Gallardo will be representing the mound for Mexico. Martín Maldonado for Puerto Rico. Carlos Gomez for the Dominican Republic, and Jeff Bianchi for Italy. Non-active players Mike Walker, Hainley Statia, and Hiram Burgos will also attend the tournament.