According to Carrie Muskat, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo plans to play for Team Italy in this year’s World Baseball Classic. The WBC runs in the first three weeks of March, which falls smack-dab in the middle of Spring Training. Italy opens in Arizona on March 7.
Rizzo, 23, is eligible to play for Team Italy by virtue of his family’s heritage. He’s expected to be a cog in the middle of the lineup for the Cubs in 2013.
The official rosters come out Thursday, but, assuming Rizzo is on Italy’s, I’m just going to get on board fully. I hate the idea of Rizzo having a slightly increased risk of injury (the WBC games are a touch more competitive than Spring Training games), but it’s cool that he’ll be able to play for Italy. And it’ll be cool to watch those games, too.
Starlin Castro has been rumored as another possible WBC’er, playing for the Dominican Republic. We’ll see what happens on Thursday.