Team USA roster announced, Twins to host WBC exhibition

Miracle alum Pat Neshek to play on star-filled Team USA squad

Giancarlo Stanton will lead an All-Star cast to the CenturyLink Sports Complex on March 8 for an exhibition versus the Minnesota Twins.

By Fort Myers Miracle | February 9, 2017 10:11 AM ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. (February 9, 2016) - Last night, Team USA Baseball released a star-studded roster for the World Baseball Classic that will play an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins during Spring Training at the CenturyLink Sports Complex on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:05 p.m.

"The Minnesota Twins look forward to hosting Team USA at the CenturyLink Sports Complex on March 8," Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter said. "This contest provides Southwest Florida fans with a unique opportunity to watch the Twins take on many of baseball's brightest stars as Team USA prepares for the upcoming World Baseball Classic."

Tickets are available for the Twins versus Team USA matchup at the CenturyLink Sports Complex box office in Fort Myers on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fans can also purchase tickets online at www.twinsbaseball.com or by calling 1-800-33-TWINS.

Team USA will be managed by Jim Leyland for the World Baseball Classic and feature a roster with many players that normally would spend Spring Training in Arizona. Leyland posted 1,769 career wins as a Major League manager with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies and Detroit Tigers from 1986-2013.

14 members of the Team USA roster come from teams that participate in the Cactus League in Arizona.

Exciting young stars highlight the infield for Team USA. Colorado Rockies phenom Nolan Arenado, Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft and San Francisco Giants shortstop will patrol the left side of the infield. Arizona Diamondback Paul Goldschmidt will provide right-handed power in the middle of the order and Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, a Cooper City, Fla. native, gives balance to the lineup as a left-handed bat.

The Washington Nationals' Daniel Murphy is slotted to play second base and the Detroit Tigers' Ian Kinsler has versatility on the infield. San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey along with Texas Ranger Jonathan Lucroy will handle the pitching staff behind the plate.

"When the Spring Training schedule came out, I circled this game as one of my favorites," said Miracle owner Jason Hochberg. "Several of the players on Team USA are part of Spring Training in Arizona so this is a rare opportunity for Fort Myers and our ballpark to host these All-Star level players and for fans to come out and see them."

In the outfield, Team USA will have the services of Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones, Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen and Miami Marlins Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton.

On the mound, Team USA will be led by Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer, Kansas City Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, Toronto Blue Jay Marcus Stroman and Oakland Athletics young phenom Sonny Gray in the rotation. The bullpen features Cleveland Indians shutdown man Andrew Miller and former Miracle reliever, now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, Pat Neshek.

Neshek appeared in 36 games for the Miracle during the 2003 and 2004 seasons while also pitching two games on rehabilitation assignment in 2010. Totaling 49.2 innings in a Miracle jersey, Neshek posted a 4-2 record with a 2.90 earned run average, 50 strikeouts, 10 walks and 12 saves.

After hosting Team USA on March 8, the Twins will play a second World Baseball Classic exhibition against Jose Quintana, Julio Teheran and Team Colombia on Thursday, March 9 at 1:05 p.m. All tickets and parking will be half off for the game versus Team Colombia.
 
View all World Baseball Classic rosters here.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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