Two Surrey-raised players have been named to Canada’s 2023 World Baseball Classic roster.
Free-agent pitcher Adam Loewen and Toronto Blue Jays third-base prospect Damiano Palmegiani are on the 30-man roster, announced Thursday (Feb. 9) by Baseball Canada.
The 20-team tournament will be played in March, with finals in Miami, Florida, on March 21.
The Ernie Whitt-managed Team Canada is in Pool C along with the U.S., Mexico, Colombia and Great Britain, for games in Phoenix starting March 11.
The 38-year-old Loewen is a six-foot-six leftie with many years of MLB experience, while the 23-year-old Palmegiani’s pro career is just starting.
Drafted by the Blue Jays 442nd overall in 2021, Palmegiani played for the minor-league Vancouver Canadians in 2022.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Palmegiani moved to Surrey when he was six years old and grew up playing with Cloverdale Minor Baseball until he was 13. Years later, he moved to the U.S. to play junior college baseball at the College of Southern Nevada.
At World Baseball Classic, Team Canada will be led by 2020 National League Most Valuable Player and six-time All-Star Freddie Freeman (Los Angeles Dodgers) along with two-time Gold Glove outfielder Tyler O’Neill (St. Louis Cardinals).
Loewen is among six former big-leaguers on the roster, along with Andrew Albers, Phillippe Aumont, John Axford, Scott Mathieson and Jacob Robson.
On March 12, Team Canada will open play against Great Britain before taking on the United States on March 13, Colombia on March 14, and Mexico on March 15.
Canada will play a pair exhibition games in Arizona prior to the World Baseball Classic starting against Chicago Cubs on March 8 in Mesa, before taking on Seattle Mariners in Peoria on March 9.
Whitt, the only person to manage in all five World Baseball Classic events, is looking forward to once again representing Canada.
“The honour of representing Canada and managing these players is something that means a great deal to me,” Whitt said in a news release. “There’s nothing better than international baseball and the intensity of the World Baseball Classic. I know our team will be ready to compete once the tournament begins next month.”
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