Thursday night saw the unveiling of the 2023 World Baseball Classic rosters and there were 17 players in the Cincinnati Reds organization that were among them. Five of the players are on the 40-man roster and are expected to be on the big league roster when the season begins.

All five of the 40-man roster players on WBC rosters are pitchers. Luis Cessa will represent the Reds on Team Mexico. Relievers Alexis Diaz and Fernando Cruz will both be representing the Reds on Team Puerto Rico. Lefty Reiver Sanmartin will be representing the Reds as a part of Team Colombia. And Ian Gibaut will represent the Reds as a member of Team Great Britain.

With those five pitchers, unless they have just a brutal spring training, it doesn’t seem like they would be pitching for a spot on the roster. That makes it easy for them to head off to pitch for their country and not have to worry about if it may cost them a spot in the big leagues out of the gate simply because they weren’t there. It certainly helps that the manager and pitching coach is also already familiar with all of them after they found varying degrees of success in Cincinnati last year.

But beyond those big leaguers there are 11 minor league players that will be on rosters. Three of those players have invites to big league spring training with the Reds. Tayron Guerrero will pitch for Team Colombia. He’s new to the organization after signing with the team last month. Silvino Bracho is also new to the organization and he will be pitching for Team Venezuela. Outfielder Henry Ramos will be on Team Puerto Rico. He is also new to the organization this year.

The Minor Leaguers

Kyle Glogoski will pitch for Team Australia and will be the only Reds representative on that team. Pitcher Pedro Garcia will join Reiver Sanmartin and Tayron Guerrero on Team Colombia. Pitcher Donovan Benoit will be on Team Great Britain along with Ian Gibaut. Evan Kravetz will pitch for Team Israel. Team Italy will feature two pitchers in Nicolo Pinazzi and Vin Timpanelli. Arij Fransen will pitch for Team Netherlands. Brandon Leyton (he previously went by Steven Leyton) is only one of two position players from the organization in the WBC. The utility player will be on Team Nicaragua. Wilmer Rios just signed with the Reds and the right-handed pitcher will be on Team Mexico.

The Tournament

The World Baseball Classic will begin on March 8th with four different pools playing over four day stretches. The quarterfinals will start on March 15th and run through the 18th in Tokyo and Miami. Miami will host the semifinals on the 19th and 20th, and the championship game will take place on March 21st.

The games will Fox, FS1, FS2, and Tubi (Italy vs Cuba on March 9th, Czech Republic vs China on March 9th, and Italy vs Taiwan on March 10th).

16 Responses

  1. CI3J

    Interesting. Why are none of the Reds’ top prospects playing? No space on the rosters? Or are they trying to win spots in ST?

    • MK

      I know Noelvi Marte played for Spain in the preliminary round, but they were defeated by Great Britian and did not advance.

  2. TR

    Like many fans, I’m ready for the Reds spring training sorting to begin.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    If I were a guy trying to make a roster being away from camp is the last thing I would want to be doing. Are these players getting paid handsomely to make it worth risking their spot on a ML roster?

    • redfanorbust

      What’s most concerning to me is the possibility of injury. I might be wrong as I have not seen who is playing from other teams but doubt any star player or the like would be risking their MLB season for this event.

      • Old Big Ed

        I don’t see why the WBC games would lead to more injuries than spring training games would.

        The reason that the guys want to play is that the games are a lot more fun than another spring training game is.

      • Old Big Ed

        No real stars.

        Just Trout, Ohtani, Goldschmidt, Arenado, Schwarber (the one from Middletown), Realmuto, Machado, Vlad Jr., Wander Franco, Devers, Soto, Julio Rodriguez — guys like that.

      • RedBB

        For sure it would lead to a higher chance of injuries for Starting Pitchers and that’s why you don’t see any big name Starting Pitchers playing for the USA. Kershaw is the biggest name and he’s towards the end of his career so it’s worth the risk. The pitch count is 65 and that’s still way too high for many starting pitchers this early and I could see managers pushing starters to go that deep and thus risking injury

    • MK

      They get paid, but this is a big deal for the MLB hierarchy as the try to promote the game around the world, so I’m sure they are highly encouraged.

    • 2020ball

      The only players I see listed here are guys with a roster spot already, or very little chance to make the roster at all if they stayed. Plus I’m sure they can still impress the Reds based on their play in the WBC.

      • Tar Heel Red

        Tha big concerns I have with Cessa, Sanmartin, Gibaut, Cruz and Diaz participating in the WBC are 1) being away from the parent team and 2) unless they played winter ball somewhere (which some probably did) they are “starting cold” to competitive pitching (no spring training) which has often lead to arm injuries once they return to the parent club. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to the Reds…they don’t need anything else to hinder what promises to be another down season.

  4. Tom Diesman

    My only concern here is with Luis Cessa. Will Mexico be using him as starter so he will be sufficiently stretched out for innings to compete for the 4th or 5th rotation slot?

    • Tar Heel Red

      Same here. I always worry how Red’s players (especially pitchers) will be used, especially starting up “cold” like many MLB pitchers are. Some of these may have been already pitching some in winter leagues, so hopefully the chance of injuries is reduced.

      • MK

        The international teams started preparing earlier, so the pitchers should be up to speed.

      • 2020ball

        They can still get injured in ST, I prefer not to overthink it. Plenty of guys go play and come ready and uninjured for the regular season.

  5. Redsvol

    Personally, I don’t think any pitcher that is projected to make the opening day roster should be playing in these games. It’s way too early to have the adrenaline pumping for real, competitive pitching. And if you don’t think they will be competing hard, then you don’t know Latin American pitchers. Alexis Diaz pitching for puerto rico scares me.