Lucroy to play for Team USA in World Baseball Classic
Brewers catcher joins Braun; club expected to approach limit of participants
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that he would play for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, making him the second Brewers player to commit so far.
Just found out I will be joining my teammate Ryan Braun in representing my country in the WBC! Very honored and humbled to represent the USA— Jonathan Lucroy (@JLucroy20) January 10, 2013
Outfielder Ryan Braun, who played in the Classic in 2006, told a radio audience earlier this week that he was already in training to be ready for this year's event.
Now 26, Lucroy was still more than a year away from debuting in the Major Leagues when the Classic 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 in March to play in the Classic. 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 for the Dominican Republic and catcher Martin Maldonado for Puerto Rico.
Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki has already announced that he will not take part.
A club official said the rules dictate that teams cannot lose more than eight members of their 40-man roster to the Classic. The Brewers' expectation is that they will either come close to or reach that limit.