The roster for Team Israel for the upcoming World Baseball Classic in March in South Korea is being finalized. Several players have already confirmed that they will be playing in the tournament with Team Israel, who will be playing against the host country, the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei.
The players who have confirmed their participation are:
• Ty Kelly, IF, New York Mets
• Sam Fuld, OF, Oakland Athletics - free agent
• Jason Marquis, P, formerly of the Cincinnati Reds - free agent
• Ike Davis, 1B, formerly of the NY Mets and Yankees - free agent
• Ryan Lavarnway, C, Oakland Athletics
• Cody Decker, IF, Milwaukee Brewers
• Josh Zeid, P, formerly of the Houston Astros - free agent
• Nate Freiman, 1B, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox) – free agent
• Tyler Krieger, IF, Lynchberg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians)
• Nick Rickles, C, Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals)
• Dean Kremer, P, Great Lakes Loons (LA Dodgers)
• Corey Baker, P, Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)
• Jeremy Bleich, P, Reading Fightin Phils (Philadelphia Phillies)
• Jake Kalish, P, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals)
• Alex Katz, P, Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox)
“We’re rounding out the roster with additional major league who weren’t available to play on Team Israel in the qualifiers,and upcoming talented players,” says Team Israel General Manager Peter Kurz. “They will join a core group that performed decisively in the qualifiers against Brazil and Great Britain in Brooklyn in September last year, to secure our place in the tournament.”
For some of these players – Zeid, Freiman, Rickles, Davis and Decker – this will be their third appearance with Team Israel. They were all part of the team that narrowly missed qualifying for the 2013 WBC, and all played in the qualifiers in September.
WBC rules state that players eligible for citizenship of a country may play on that country’s team. This will be the first time that American Jewish baseball players will represent Israel in a world championship.
This month, eight members of the team visited Israel for a week to learn about Israel and meet Israeli fans who will be supporting them at the WBC.