The World Baseball Classic will once again be played this year with a handful of Cardinals players getting an opportunity to represent their country. The intriguing name, according to reports from December, was supposed to be Jaime Garcia, who intended to pitch for Mexico. However, his name is not on the rosters released today, though that may still change.
The question becomes did Garcia back out on his own accord or at the team’s urging? Or is it his injury continuing to be an issue? The answers really shape what happens in Spring Training. Right now there is only a single pitcher spot on the roster, for a right handed reliever. If Garcia is still down, that opens up a rotation spot for a number of candidates.
Jason Motte turned down an invitation to pitch for the United States because he and his wife are expecting their first child later this month. Mitchell Boggs will be on the only member of the team on the US roster.
Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina will play for Puerto Rico. Fernando Salas will pitch for Mexico. And Richard Castillo, who started in Double-A Springfield last year for the Cardinals, will pitch for Spain.