The World Baseball Classic, originally scheduled for 2021 but moved because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is here.
The Giants scrimmage Team USA in Scottsdale on Wednesday night, a game that will be televised on NBC Sports Bay Area, and then the defending champions will begin pool play this weekend.
Team USA, managed by Mark DeRosa, is stacked with talent including Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. No San Francisco Giants are representing America, though Logan Webb de-committed from the club before spring training began to focus on his role with the Giants.
Some Giants will be competing in the quadrennial tournament, though.
Joc Pederson, an All-Star in 2022, is representing Team Israel. Israel, viewed as a significant underdog in the tournament, is in a pool with Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico Venezuela and Nicaragua. Their games start in Miami, Florida.
Pederson previously competed for Israel, playing in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Gabe Kapler was on that coaching staff.
“It was cool,” Pederson told KNBR last July. “Super fun. First time I played, like, winning baseball compared to the minor leagues, which is not as (focused) on winning.”
Camilo Doval, the 25-year-old Giants closer, will represent his native Dominican Republic. That team, along with USA, has the most talent. Their roster includes an All-Star team of Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, Sandy Alcantara and Manny Machado. Former Giant Johnny Cueto is also on the pitching staff that Doval may anchor in late innings.
Doval’s velocity has been substantially subdued in his Cactus League appearances compared to his peak last year, but that could be based on just normal ramping up. The Giants have planned on taking a cautious approach with Doval’s work load given he’ll likely be pitching in high-intensity environments earlier in the year than usual.
Giants prospects in the WBC include Kai-Wei Teng (Chinese Taipei), Joey Marciano (Italy), and Jonathan Bermúdez (Puerto Rico). On the sidelines, first base coach Antoan Richardson will serve as a bench coach for Great Britain, Dave Righetti is Team USA’s bullpen coach and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner is on Netherlands’ medical team.
Former Giants in the tournament include Lucius Fox (Great Britain), Alex Dickerson (Israel) and Cueto.
Here are the lineups for Wednesday night’s exhibition. Anthony DeSclafani is starting for San Francisco, and Team USA’s listed pitchers are Miles Mikolas, Ryan Pressly, Adam Ottavino, Jason Adam, Kendall Graveman and David Bednar.
LaMonte Wade Jr. – RF
Mitch Haniger – LF
Joc Pederson – 1B
Wilmer Flores – DH
Brandon Crawford – SS
David Villar –
3B Mike Yastrzemski – CF
Thairo Estrada – 2B
Joey Bart – C
Mookie Betts – RF
Mike Trout – CF
Kyle Schwarber – DH
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
Nolan Arenado – 3B
Kyle Tucker – LF
Trea Turner – SS
J.T. Realmuto – C
Jeff McNeil – 2B