Lucroy will play for Team USA
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy took to Twitter this afternoon to announce that he would play for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, the second Brewer to commit so far.
Outfielder Ryan Braun, who played in the WBC in 2006, told a radio audience earlier this week that he was already in training to be ready for this year’s event.
Lucroy, 26, was still more than a year away from debuting in the Major Leagues when the WBC last was staged. But he has since cemented his place as the Brewers’ everyday catcher, signing a long-term contract last spring and then enjoying an offensive breakout before suffering a broken right hand in May. Lucroy wound up batting .320 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs in 96 games.
The Brewers expect to hear by Jan. 16 which other players will depart Maryvale Baseball Park to play in the WBC. Candidates include starters Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada for Team Mexico, relievers John Axford and Jim Henderson and infielder Taylor Green for Team Canada, center fielder Carlos Gomez (but probably not third baseman Aramis Ramirez) for the Dominican Republic and perhaps catcher Martin Maldonado for Puerto Rico. Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki has already announced that he will not take part.
The rules dictate that teams cannot lose more than eight members of their 40-man roster to the WBC, and the Brewers’ expectation is that they will either come close to or reach that limit.
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