BY SPNW Staff 11:11PM 02/08/2017

Felix, Cano, Cruz, Diaz headed to Baseball Classic

Four Mariners — Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cano, Edwin Diaz — are among a host of major league stars who will compete in the World Baseball Classic.

Robinson Cano will represent the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest

The 2017 World Baseball Classic, featuring players representing the United States, Japan, Korea, Asia, Latin America, Canada, Europe and Australia, will include four members of the Seattle Mariners, RHP Felix Hernandez (Venezuela), DH Nelson Cruz (Dominican Republic), 2B Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic) and RHP Edwin Diaz (Puerto Rico).

The tournament runs from March 6-22 with the championship round slated for Dodger Stadium.

In all, 16 national baseball federations will take part in the fourth installment of the tournament. The rosters include 25 2016 MLB All-Stars, many of whom are among the elite: two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela), 2012 NL MVP Buster Posey (USA), 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen (USA), 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau (Canada), 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colón (Dominican Republic) and 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne (Canada).

Hernandez, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2010, went 11-8, 3.82 for the Mariners last season and is slated to start for Seattle on Opening Day, April 3 at Houston. Cano hit .298 with 39 home runs last season while Cruz bashed 43 home runs with 105 RBIs. Diaz, a rookie, became Seattle’s closer at mid-season and saved 18 games.

Pool A will be played at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul from March 6-10 and will include teams from Chinese Taipei, Israel, Korea and the Netherlands.  Pool B will feature Australia, China, Cuba and Japan at the Tokyo Dome from March 7-11. Pool C includes Canada, Columbia, the Dominican Republic and the USA in Miami from March 9-13. Pool D — Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela — will be held in Mexico from March 9-13 in Jalisco.

Others in the Mariners organization who will compete: Tyler O’Neill, (OF), Canada; Patrick Venditte (SHP), Italy; Sebastian Valle (C), Mexico; Emilio Pagan (RHP), Puerto Rico; and Drew Smyly (LHP), USA.

Tbe World Baseball Classic is held every four years. The Dominican Republic is the defending champion.


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