DENVER -- The Rockies will lend star power to the World Baseball Classic with third baseman Nolan Arenado suiting up for Team USA and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez leading Venezuela, as official rosters were announced on Wednesday.
Rockies lefty reliever Jake McGee will also play for Team USA.
Arenado, Gonzalez and McGee, members of the Rockies' Major League squad last season and expected to be mainstays this year, will be joined by five Minor Leaguers in the tournament.
Also representing the Rockies in the event will be right-hander Rayan Gonzalez, who is in the designated pitcher pool for Puerto Rico, shortstop Scotty Burcham and righty Troy Neiman for Israel, infielder Daniel Castro for Mexico and catcher Robert Perkins for Australia.
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.
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.
Arenado, who has led the National League in RBIs and tied for the lead in home runs each of the last two seasons, and Gonzalez, a three-time All-Star, are marquee names. McGee is an accomplished veteran. It will be something of a coming-out party for the younger players.
Rayan Gonzalez, who is on the 40-man roster and in big league camp for the first time, went 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 52 innings over 46 outings for Double-A Hartford last season. He posted a 2.31 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 11 2/3 frames in the Arizona Fall League.
Burcham batted .271 with a .335 on-base percentage in 61 games for Class A Asheville in 2016, and Neiman compiled a 7-4 record with a 3.55 ERA in 45 appearances, with 83 strikeouts in 71 innings for Class A Advanced Modesto. Team Israel is being managed by Jerry Weinstein, who will manage at Hartford in '17.
Castro hit .200 with seven RBIs in 47 games with the Braves in 2016 -- his second season in the big leagues. Perkins, who last winter was a key performer as Australia qualified for the World Baseball Classic, batted .238 with a .396 on-base percentage in 15 games for Modesto in '16.