Canada sets WBC qualifier roster
* OF Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC) who hit .231 with eight homers and 27 RBIs in 59 games at triple-A Buffalo and four on a rehab assignment at class-A St. Lucie is one of the 28 players on the WBC qualifier ….
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA — Baseball Canada announced the 28 players that will represent Canada at the World Baseball Classic Qualifier Sept. 20th-24th in Regensburg, Germany.
Canada will compete against the Czech Republic, Great Britain and host Germany for a spot in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
“I am very pleased with the composition of our roster heading into the qualifier,” said Baseball Canada’s director of national teams, Greg Hamilton. “Our roster is a veteran group with a lot of international experience which should be beneficial in Regensburg.”
In 2011 Major League Baseball and World Baseball Classic Inc. expanded the World Baseball Classic from sixteen countries to 28 and introduced a new qualification round.
The new round features 16 teams divided into four pools of four teams each. The teams invited to participate will include the four World Baseball Classic teams from 2009 that did not win a game (Canada, Panama, South Africa, Chinese Taipei) along with Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines, Spain and Thailand.
Each qualification tournament will consist of a six-game modified double-elimination format.
Canada’s roster features 14 players (Andrew Albers, Cole Armstrong, Shawn Bowman, Mark Hardy, Shawn Hill, Jay Johnson, Mike Johnson, Chris Kissock, Brock Kjeldgaard, Jonathan Malo, Chris Robinson, Tim Smith, Skylar Stromsmoe and Jimmy Van Ostrand) that won a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am American Games in Lagos de Moreno, Mex.
Baseball Canada will see a veteran coaching staff return to the fold led by long-time Manager, and recent Baseball Canada Wall of Excellence inductee, Ernie Whitt, while 1997 National League MVP Larry Walker (hitting), former Montréal Expo and Toronto Blue Jay Denis Boucher (pitching), Tim Leiper (third base) and Hamilton round out the staff.
Players, coaches and staff will assemble in St. Petersburg, Fl. on September 12th for a short training camp and exhibition series, travel to Regensburg, Germany on Sept. 17th and open the WBC Qualifier on Sept. 20 against Great Britain at 7 pm local time.