To add on to the accolades he collected this past season, Pirates reliever/closer and Mars native David Bednar has committed to Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.
He joins an increasingly loaded lineup and was one of four pitchers to commit to the team yesterday, the others being the Diamondbacks’ Merrill Kelly, the Orioles’ Dillon Tate, and the Brewers’ Devin Williams.
Relievers play a big part in the Classic, as no pitcher can throw more than 60 pitches in the first round, 80 in the second and 95 in the championship round.
Team USA is the defending champion and will start Classic play March 11 in Phoenix in Pool C, which right now includes Canada, Colombia, Mexico and a yet-undetermined team.
The Team USA roster hasn’t been finalized, but here’s who’s committed so far:
C: J.T. Realmuto, Will Smith
1B: Pete Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Trevor Story
SS: Tim Anderson3B: Nolan Arenado
OF: Mookie Betts, Cedric Mullins, Mike Trout, Kyle Tucker
SP: Merrill Kelly
RP: David Bednar, Dillon Tate, Devin Williams
Bednar isn’t the only Pirate to be on a World Baseball Classic team: farm hand Tahnaj Thomas, a native of the Bahamas, is on the roster for Great Britain and had a big part in helping the Brits qualify with some stellar relief work in their comeback against Spain a few weeks ago.
There was no Classic last year due to the strike, so make sure not to miss it this year!