O’s players prepare for World Baseball Classic

The World Baseball Classic is getting ready to begin, and the Orioles now have four players leaving to play for their respective countries.

Cedric Mullins will play for Team USA, Dean Kremer for Team Israel and Anthony Santander and Darwinzon Hernandez for Team Venezuela.

Due to the tournament, these players’ spring trainings will be replaced with competitive play against the world’s best. After some thought, it could be argued that this form of action is better as a preseason warm-up than normal spring training games.

For Mullins, he reported to Scottsdale, Arizona, Monday morning. He joins a plethora of MLB All-Stars, including Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, J.T. Realmuto, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso and Trea Turner.

Team USA is widely regarded as the second best team in the tournament behind Team Dominican Republic. Mullins will likely be a fourth-man to outfielders Trout, Betts and Kyle Tucker, while presumably seeing a lot of pinch running opportunities. Although, we coule see Mullins roam center field if Betts gets reps at second base.

Team USA’s first game is Saturday, March 11, at 9 p.m. EST. You will be able to watch that game live on FOX.

Next is Dean Kremer, who will be starting game one for Team Israel on March 12. He will join a pitching staff that includes former Oriole, Richard Bleier. Kremer and the rest of the Israel roster are projected as the 12th best squad out of 20, via CBS power rankings.

Kremer will lead an Israel team that will face Santander, Hernandez and the rest of Team Venezuela on Wednesday, March 15, at noon. However, Kremer definitely won’t be pitching that day.

Speaking of Anthony Santander, he will be representing Team Venezuela, who is coming in ranked as the fourth best team in the CBS power rankings. He joins the likes of José Altuve, Eduardo Escobar, Andrés Giménez, Gleyber Torres and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera.

Venezuela’s first action is set for Saturday, March 11. You can catch that game on Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m. EST.

Lastly, Darwinzon Hernandez will join a potent pitching staff for Venezuela. Some of his staff mates include Pablo López, Jesús Luzardo, Edruardo Rodríguez and Ranger Suárez.

It looks like we could get to see a lot of Mullins, Santander and Hernandez late into this tournament. These two players could have the chance to play each other for the semi-finals, being Mullins is in Pool C and Santander and Hernandez are in Pool D.

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Who are you most excited to see play in this year’s World Baseball Classic? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Justin’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @orioles4life96

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