D-backs’ Merrill Kelly to pitch for Team USA in World Baseball Classic

Oct 6, 2022, 4:54 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during t...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Phoenix, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly will be a part of Team USA for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Kelly joins a stacked roster of commitments that includes Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and third baseman Nolan Arenado.

In addition to Kelly, the Americans’ pitching group started to take shape on Thursday with its first announced commitments. Kelly, the one announced starter so far, will throw alongside relievers like the Milwaukee Brewers’ Devin Williams and Baltimore Orioles’ Dillon Tate.

Kelly had a career year in 2022, posting a 13-8 record with a career-best 3.37 ERA, 1.138 WHIP, 200.1 innings pitched and 177 strikeouts.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic begins on March 11 and will run through March 21 prior to the 2023 MLB season getting underway. Team USA is in Pool C and will face Mexico, Columbia, Canada and another team to be determined.

The format is four pools featuring five countries each. The 20 teams get whittled down to eight through pool play, with each pool winner and runner-up advancing. From there, a single-elimination bracket will go through the quarterfinals and semifinals before the final on March 21.

The United States’ Pool C will have all its games at Chase Field in Phoenix from March 11-15.

The World Baseball Classic began in 2006. Japan won the first two iterations before the Dominican Republic took home the championship in 2013. Team USA is the defending champions after winning the last event in 2017.

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