There will be no shortage of Canadian players with international baseball experience in Regensburg, Germany, at next week’s 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier.
Canada’s roster includes 14 players from the 2011 Pan American Games championship squad.
“I am very pleased with the composition of our roster heading into the qualifier,” Baseball Canada’s director of national teams, Greg Hamilton, said in a news release.
The Canadian players arrived in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Wednesday for a brief training camp and exhibition series. They will travel to Germany on Sept. 17 and open the qualifying tourney Sept. 20 against Great Britain. The tournament ends Sept. 24.
Last year, Major League Baseball and World Baseball Classic Inc., introduced a new qualification round featuring 16 teams divided into four pools of four teams.
Canada is among four teams (Panama, South Africa and Chinese Taipei the others) invited to compete that didn’t win a game at the 2009 WBC.
The other teams include Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines, Spain and Thailand.
Each qualification tournament employs a six-game modified double-elimination format.
Manning Canada’s dugout will be a veteran coaching staff fronted by longtime manager and former Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt. Rounding out the staff is former National League MVP Larry Walker (hitting coach), one-time Montreal Expos and Blue Jays pitcher Denis Boucher (pitching coach), third base coach Tim Leiper and Hamilton.