Baez, Rondon lead Cubs in World Baseball Classic

Teammates' Puerto Rican, Venezuelan squads meet March 10 in Mexico

Baez, Rondon lead Cubs in World Baseball Classic

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs' Javier Baez and Hector Rondon will play in the World Baseball Classic, which begins play in early March.

Baez will represent Puerto Rico, while Rondon will pitch for Venezuela. Puerto Rico and Venezuela are in Pool D, and they face each other March 10 at Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico.

• World Baseball Classic tickets

Other Cubs scheduled to participate in the World Baseball Classic include outfielder John Andreoli (Italy) and right-handed pitchers Jim Henderson (Canada), Jhondaniel Medina (Venezuela), Miguel Mejia (Puerto Rico), Mario Meza (Mexico) and Erling Moreno (Colombia).

Rondon, Medina, Mejia, Meza and Moreno are part of the designated pitcher pool. Each team has the option of using the designated pitcher pool (DPP), which works like this: A team can use up to 10 designated pitchers but can't have more than two on its active roster at a time. Those "active" DPs can be replaced at the beginning of each of the next two rounds, but only by another DP. Once a DP has been replaced, he cannot return to the active roster for a subsequent round. Using Team USA as an example, Danny Duffy and Tanner Roark are the active DPs for the first round of pool play, so they can be replaced on the roster before the second round or the championship round, but only by one of the team's other DPs. And if a DP joins for the second round, he can be replaced for the championship round, but only by another DP.

The World Baseball Classic runs from March 6-22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. Internationally, the tournament will be distributed across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

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It will be interesting to see where Baez, 24, plays. The co-Most Valuable Player in the National League Championship Series, he will be joined on the Puerto Rican team by the Indians' Francisco Lindor and the Astros' Carlos Correa.

Rondon, 28, is a key piece to the Cubs' bullpen this year. The right-hander went 14-for-18 in save situations in the first half of 2016, posting a 1.72 ERA, but he lost his job as closer once the Cubs acquired Aroldis Chapman in July. Rondon was sidelined with a strained right triceps from mid-August to early September, finishing with a career-low 51 innings.

Henderson, 34, has pitched for the Brewers and the Mets, and he missed time last season because of tendinitis in his right biceps. He signed as a free agent with the Cubs in January.

Andreoli, 26, batted .256 last season at Triple-A Iowa.

Medina and Mejia both signed Minor League contracts with the Cubs last December. Medina, 23, pitched at Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pirates' organization last season, compiling a combined 3.49 ERA in 46 games. Mejia, 29, did pitch for the Cubs at Double-A Tennessee and Iowa, posting a 5.04 ERA in 38 games combined.

Moreno, 20, made six starts for Class A Eugene last season, giving up three earned runs over 30 innings. He was a highly touted prospect when he signed with the Cubs at the age of 16.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.