World Baseball Classic Rosters Announced for Brooklyn Pool


The Rosters for Brazil, Great Britain, Israel, and Pakistan for the World Baseball Classic qualifier Pool Four in Brooklyn next month have been announced. The games being played before the end of the Major League Baseball season eliminates the possibility of Major League players being utilized.

Pool play will commence with a doubleheader on September 22 at MCU stadium, the home of the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones. The Cyclones are an affiliate of the Mets. Pakistan and Brazil will play the noon opener, to be followed by Great Britain and Israel and 7pm EDT. The following day features Israel at noon and Great Britain at 7pm. Day three will be TBA.

Israel has the players with the greatest amount of experience with five triple-A players on their roster. The 2013 team suffered a heartbreaking 9-7 loss in ten innings in the final qualifying game to Spain. The Israeli team had a slew of Major Leaguers lined up to play for them in March of 2013 if they had qualified in September of 2012. The Manager will be former Rockies coach Jerry Goldstein.

The Israeli team will be led by former Major Leaguers Craig Breslow, Ike Davis, and Jason Marquis. Breslow and Davis played in the Majors this year, and Marquis last played in MLB last year. Breslow leads what could be a good bullpen and was pitching with the Texas Rangers AAA affiliate in Round Rock, Texas before being released three weeks ago. He last pitched in the majors in June with the Florida Marlins.

Davis’ seven-year MLB average is 20 home runs and 71 RBIs. Six others players on the roster have major league experience. That includes former Red Sox prospect Ryan Lavarnway who is likely to be the starting catcher, infielder Ty Kelly who was with the Mets for 23 games this year and former Oakland A Nate Freiman. White Sox prospect Brad Goldberg is the closer for the Charlotte Knights and should help Breslow in the bullpen.

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Brazil is more known for their coaching staff than the players that will take the field. Barry Larkin returns as manager, LaTroy Hawkins will be his pitching coach and Steve Finley as hitting coach. Brazil has nine players on their roster currently playing in the U.S. Former White Sox pitcher Andre Rienzo leads the pitching staff. He last pitched in the Majors last year. Rienzo currently pitches for New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League. Third Baseman Leonardo Reginato is currently with the Rochester Redwings of the American Association.

Former UNLV Director of Baseball Operations Liam Carroll will manage the team from Great Britain. Twelve British players are currently playing in the minors in the U.S. Four of those players are in Triple-A, including two of Rienzo’s teammates with New Orleans. Pitchers Jacob Esch and Chris Reed play with Rienzo in New Orleans,  left-handed pitcher Michael Roth pitches for Round Rock in the PCL and catcher Chris Berset plays with Louisville of the American Association.

Not much is known about the Pakistani team other than the team is entirely made up of amateur players. Below is a video of Pakistan playing Korea. The video is in Korean without subtitles.

Pakistan doesn’t have any players on its roster affiliated with major league teams but has been regionally successful according to the WBC website. Pakistan is currently ranked 23rd in the world. It’s hard to put much stock into the rankings, the defending WBC Champion Dominican Republic is 12th.

Next: World Baseball Classic Announces Three MLB Parks as Hosts

Pakistan’s baseball history is short. They have won some lower level Asian championships. Pakistan has long been a world power in Cricket. They currently rank number one in the world in cricket. A centuries-old debate exists on whether or not baseball origins come from cricket.