Team USA among eight Classic teams facing MLB clubs
All participants in tournament's Phoenix, San Juan pools making debuts in exhibitions
While Team USA won't open play in the World Baseball Classic until Friday, fans will get their first look at the team today in a 3:05 p.m. ET exhibition game against the White Sox in Glendale, Ariz.
All eight teams from Pools C and D awaiting their Classic openers later this week will be in action against a Major League team on Tuesday at various Spring Training locations. The other seven matchups are: Dominican Republic vs. Phillies (1:05 ET), Spain vs. Pirates (1:05), Canada vs. Brewers (3:05), Italy vs. Athletics (3:05), Puerto Rico vs. Red Sox (7:05), Venezuela vs. Marlins (7:05) and Mexico vs. D-backs (9:10).
Team USA's lineup will have an All-Star-type feel to it, as the club will run out a powerful group of hitters against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. The veteran right-hander will have his hands full in his Spring Training debut, as he faces Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, Brewers designated hitter Ryan Braun and Twins catcher Joe Mauer at the top of the lineup.
The Nos. 5-9 hitters, respectively, will be Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Mets third baseman David Wright, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and Red Sox left fielder Shane Victorino.
Rangers left-hander Derek Holland will get the start, while the team will turn to a group of relievers to handle the pitching in Wednesday's exhibition against the Rockies.
In other matchups, the Phillies will call on three-time All-Star Cole Hamels to toe the rubber against the Dominican Republic, while the Pirates will use top prospect Gerrit Cole in their exhibition against Spain. Oakland lefty Brett Anderson will get the starting nod in the Athletics' split-squad matchup against Italy.
As for the Classic, both Pool C and Pool D will open play on Thursday. Pool C -- featuring Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain -- will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while Pool D -- consisting of the United States, Mexico, Italy and Canada -- will be played in Phoenix.