Carpenter, Reyes confirm they’ll play in World Baseball Classic … –

ST. LOUIS • Already considered one of the top pitching prospects in the majors — if not the No. 1 prospect — and an early-season candidate for National League Rookie of the Year, righthander Alex Reyes could throw some important innings this spring before throwing a pitch in competition for the Cardinals.

Reyes has been officially selected for the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Class team, his agent confirmed. First baseman Matt Carpenter also confirmed to the Post-Dispatch that he accepted an invitation to play for Team USA. He did so last month. 

This will be Carpenter’s first time with a U.S. national team. Carpenter, who the Cardinals intend to start at first base in 2017, said he expected to be play a utility role for Jim Leyland’s club.

Carlos Martinez was previously selected for the team.

The World Baseball Classic will be held this month, and already several prominent Cardinals have been named to teams. Yadier Molina committed this past summer to playing for Puerto Rico’s team. Martinez is expected to be a starter for Team Dominicana, and Reyes will join him, though the youngster’s exact role will be determined later.

Korean national team is open to having Seung Hwan Oh on its pitching staff. A report out of Korea recently stated that the governing body feels Oh has served his punishment for gambling and can be selected for the WBC roster.

This will be the first WBC for both Reyes and Martinez.

The World Baseball Classic will be held during March, right in the heart of spring training. There are limitations on pitchers throughout the tournament to protect their arms. The WBC is a joint venture between Major League Baseball and its players’ union, so teams are encouraged to have their players participate.

Reyes is set to open the season in the Cardinals’ rotation, though the team intends to monitor his innings for the coming year and could be targeting between 150 innings and 175 innings for his workload. 

Reyes told that when it came to joining the DR team “the decision was pretty easy.”

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