What: International tournament that takes place every four years. This is the fourth edition.

When: Monday through March 22.

TV: MLB Network.

Format: Top two teams in each pool advance to play at two round-robin sites (Tokyo and San Diego). The top two at each round-robin site advance to the finals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Favorites: The Dominican Republic, the 2013 champion, is loaded again. Venezuela has plenty of offense but needs pitching to come through.

U.S. outlook: Jim Leyland will manage a team with a lineup full of stars such as Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton and Buster Posey (if healthy). Starting pitching might be an issue without injured Max Scherzer and Sonny Gray.

Pool A in Seoul: Israel, Korea, Netherlands, Taiwan.

Pool B in Tokyo: Australia, China, Cuba, Japan.

Pool C in Miami: Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, United States.

Pool D in Guadalajara, Mexico: Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela.


Australia: The Aussies have pitchers Todd Van Steensel and Lachlan Wells and OF Aaron Whitefield.

Colombia: Pitcher Yohan Pino and 1B Reynaldo Rodriguez are playing for the WBC first-timers.

Puerto Rico: 1B Kennys Vargas, OF Eddie Rosario and pitchers Jose Berrios and Hector Santiago are part of a roster that also includes shortstops Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor.

other players of note

Australia: Former Twins infielder Luke Hughes.

Canada: Former Twins 1B Justin Morneau.

Israel: 1B Ike Davis, son of former Twins pitcher Ron Davis; ex-Twins Sam Fuld, OF, and Jason Marquis, P.

Italy: Former Twins Drew Butera, C, and Chris Colabello, 1B.

Netherlands: 7-foot-1 pitcher Loek Van Mil, a former Twins farmhand.