WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
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.
TWINS IN THE WBC
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.
STAFF, NEWS SERVICE REPORTS