Braun to play in World Baseball Classic
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Jan. 8, 2013
Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun once again will be playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic this spring.
In an interview Monday night on the "Rupina's Hot Stove Weekly" on SportsRadio WSSP 1250, Braun said he already had started his baseball workouts this offseason to be ready for the WBC. Braun played for Team USA in the last WBC in 2009.
“I actually started my baseball activities a little bit earlier than I usually do because I’m going to play in the World Baseball Classic this year," Braun said in that interview. "So, I have to get myself prepared a little sooner, a little quicker than I usually do.”
The roster has not been announced for Team USA but it certainly is no shock that Braun would be selected for the club. He was the National League MVP in 2011 and followed that with another tremendous season in 2012, and remains one of the top offensive performers in the majors. Spring training is starting earlier this year to allow those competing in the WBC to begin preparation.
Braun batted .381 in six games during the WBC in 2009. Team USA will begin training in Phoenix on March 4, about three weeks after the Brewers open their spring camp there. Team USA will play in first-round competition at Chase Field in Phoenix from March 7-10.
The Brewers are expected to have several other players involved in the WBC. Pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are expected to play for Mexico, and relievers John Axford and Jim Henderson likely will be playing for Canada. Catcher Martin Maldonado might be a selection for Puerto Rico as well. Those rosters will be announced in the coming weeks.
Outfielder Norichika Aoki, who played for Japan in 2009, has announced he will not play in the WBC and instead will concentrate on getting ready for the Brewers' season. Japan won the first two WBC tournaments.
In other news, the Brewers announced that three of their top prospects -- first baseman Hunter Morris, right-hander Taylor Jungmann and lefty Jed Bradley -- have been added to their list of non-roster invitees for spring training.
Other players from the system invited are catchers Anderson De La Rosa, Adam Weissenburger and Rafael Neda, right-hander Donovan Hand and outfielder Kentrail Davis.