WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Eight former River Cats players--Luke Hughes, Trystan Magnuson, Chris Denorfia, Fernando Cabrera, Santiago Casilla, Pedro Figueroa, Nelson Cruz and Mike Piazza--have been included on 2013 World Baseball Classic provisional rosters.
Two members of last season's division-champion River Cats team-Hughes and Figueroa-will take the field for Australia and the Dominican Republic, respectively, while legendary major league catcher Mike Piazza will be a member of Italy's coaching staff. Magnuson will play for Canada, Denorfia for Italy, Cabrera for Puerto Rico, and Cruz and Casilla will take the field with Figueroa for the Dominican Republic.
Figueroa, the lone member of the group who is still a member of the A's organization, appeared in 19 games for Oakland and 32 games for Sacramento a season ago. During his time with Sacramento, he recorded a 2.62 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched.
The 2013 World Baseball Classic-the third installment of the popular international tournament-commences March 2 with Pools A and B in Fukuoka, Japan, and Taichung, Taiwan, respectively. The other two pool-play rounds begin March 7 with Pool C in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Pool D in Phoenix, Arizona.
Round Two will be played in Tokyo (March 8-12) and Miami, Fla. (March 12-16), with the semifinals and finals scheduled for March 17-19 at AT & T Park in San Francisco.
Other former River Cats to participate in previous World Baseball Classics include Huston Street (USA, 2006), Esteban Loaiza (Mexico, 2006), Frankie Menechino (Italy, 2006), Travis Blackley (Australia, 2009), Mark Teahen (Canada, 2009), Rich Thompson (Australia, 2006 and 2009), Brad Ziegler (USA, 2009), and Yoenis Céspedes (Cuba, 2009), who joined Sacramento for a rehab assignment last season.
The River Cats kick off the 2013 season on Thursday, April 4, at Raley Field, when they play host to the Las Vegas 51s at 7:05 p.m.
River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, Flex Plans and group outings are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). Individual game tickets, starting at $8, will be available in March online at ticketmaster.com and at Raley Field's Round Table Pizza Ticket Office. For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.