The Baltimore Orioles Guide to the World Baseball Classic

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Players from the Orioles system who will play in the WBC and their schedule of games.

The first round of the World Baseball Classic begins on March 2nd and the Orioles have eight players participating, although you probably don't know most of them. Only Adam Jones and Pedro Strop from the major-league team will be playing as well as well-known prospect Jonathan Schoop. As far as the rest...well, they're not exactly household names.

I'm personally not of the opinion that just because I'm an American, I should be rooting for Team USA. Team USA is filled with players I recognize, most of whom I tend to root against when they're playing the Orioles (and others, like Mark Teixeira, that I root against all the time). So I most enjoy the WBC when rooting for guys that play in the Orioles system. Here is the full list:

  • USA: Adam Jones
  • Dominican Republic: Pedro Strop
  • Australia: Allan de San Miguel
  • Netherlands: Jonathan Schoop & Jonathan Isenia
  • Brazil: Rafael Moreno
  • Canada: Christopher Robinson & Timothy Smith
You can see the full WBC schedule here, but here are the Orioles-related round one matchups (all games can be watched on the MLB Network):

Pool A: Pool A features Team Brazil and Rafael Moreno. Moreno is right-handed pitcher who has been in the Orioles system for just one year, playing in the Dominican Summer League as a 17 year old in 2012. He pitched in 14 games (12 starts) with a 3.86 ERA, an 8.13 K/9 and a 3.03 BB/9.

Brazil is playing in Pool A of the first round, which is being played in Fukuoka, Japan. That means that for most of us, the games won't exactly be friendly to our time zone. But for you insomniacs who can't get enough international baseball, here is their schedule (all start times are the eastern time zone):

March 2: Japan @ Brazil, 5:00 a.m.
March 2: Cuba @ Brazil, 10:30 a.m.
March 5: Brazil @ China, 3:00 a.m.

Pool B: Pool B features both the Netherlands and Australia, teams with O's on their roster.

Netherlands: Jonathan Schoop is, of course, a name we all know. Recently ranked by Keith Law as the 50th best prospect in baseball and by Baseball Prospectus as #80, we all have high hopes for young Schoop. He has played shortstop, second base, and third base in the minors, but will be playing 2B in the WBC.

The other O's player suiting up for the Netherlands is Jonatan Isenia, whose name is as unfamiliar as Schoop's is familiar. Isenia is just 19 years old, and like Rafael Moreno, has only played for the Orioles for one year in the Dominican Summer League. Isenia is a right-handed pitcher who made 13 relief appearances for the DSL Orioles in 2012 with a 1.47 ERA but a K rate of just 4.9 per 9 innings.

Australia: Allan de San Miguel looks like a career minor leaguer who spent seven seasons as a catcher in the Twins minor-league system before signing with the Orioles in 2012. In his MiL career he's gotten on base but can't hit for any power. He's 25 years old.

The Pool B games will take place in Taichung, Taiwan, so the same time difference issues apply. Here are the Pool B games relevant to the Orioles:

March 1: Australia @ Chinese Taipei, 11:30 p.m.
March 2: Korea @ Netherlands, 6:30 a.m.
March 3: Netherlands @ Chinese Taipei, 1:30 a.m.
March 4: Korea @ Australia, 5:30 a.m.
March 4: Australia @ Netherlands, 11:30 p.m.

Pool C: Pool C features the teams from Latin America plus Spain and the games will be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The only Orioles rep in this pool is Pedro Strop, the flame throwing, cockeyed-hat wearing guy we came to mostly love in 2012. Strop is playing for the Dominican Republic, and here are their games (in a much nicer time zone!):

March 7: Venezuela @ Dominican Republic, 6:30 p.m.
March 9: Dominican Republic @ Spain, 11 a.m.
March 10: Dominican Republic @ Puerto Rico, 7:30 p.m.

Pool D: USA! USA! ...sorry, got a little carried away there when I saw the red, white, and blue. Pool D features USA, Canada, Italy, and Mexico and will be played in Phoenix, Arizona. Repping the O's is the most awesome Oriole on the 40-man, Mr. Adam Jones. Jonesy will play OF for Team USA along with Ryan Braun and Giancarlo Stanton. Oof, that's one good outfield.

In addition to having the two most generic sounding names ever, Christopher Robinson and Timothy Smith will be representing the Canadian team in the WBC. Robinson is a 28-year-old catcher who spent most of the last seven years in the Cubs system, but he caught 52 games for the Norfolk Tides in 2012. He will not make a major-league roster any time soon. Smith is an outfielder who the Orioles signed to a minor-league deal in January. He's 26 years old and most recently was in the Braves system. In the minor leagues he gets on base a lot. That's all I have on that dude.

Here is the schedule for Adam Jones and the Canadians:

March 8: Canada @ Italy, 2:30 p.m.
March 8: Mexico @ United States, 9 p.m.
March 9: Canada @ Mexico, 2:30 p.m.
March 9: United States @ Italy, 9 p.m.
March 10: United States @ Canada, 4 p.m.

The top two teams from each pool will move on to the second round, and I'll be keeping track of how the O's players do, so stay tuned for updates.
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