GOODYEAR, Arizona -- While fans of the Cleveland Indians knew the time would come, reality is starting to set in as the World Baseball Classic begins in just four days.
Along with lefty reliever Andrew Miller and star shortstop Francisco Lindor, nine other players in the Indians organization will be leaving the club's spring training headquarters to take part in the international tournament. Some players are in big league camp with the Tribe, while several others are in the Tribe's farm system.
For quite some time now, it's been known that Miller would pitch for the United States of America in the WBC and it has put many Tribe fans on edge, including the Indians organization knowing that injuries could always be a risk factor. Just a few years ago right-handed Tribe reliever Vinnie Pestano participated in the international tournament and just was never quite the same in his career after appearing.
While Miller will pitch for USA, Lindor will be representing Puerto Rico.
Two other familiar names leaving the Indians for the WBC will be Carlos Santana who will play for the Dominican Republic and Roberto Perez who will join Lindor on Team Puerto Rico.
Indians prospect third baseman Giovanny Urshela is slated to play third base for Colombia, while first baseman minor league invitee Chris Colabello will play for Italy. Colabello is a career .257 hitter, who appeared to have an outside chance to make the Indians big league roster until the signing of Edwin Encarnacion over the off-season.
Minor league pitcher Luis Lugo will join Colabello on the Italian team in the WBC.
Former Indians left-hander and current team director of cultural development Bruce Chen will be on Team China's roster, along with minor league right-handers Ping-Hsueh Chen and Shao-Ching Chiang.
Tribe minor league infielder Tyler Krieger is on Israel's roster.
The World Baseball Classic is slated to begin March 6 in Seoul, Korea with the championship game being held March 22 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
- Nick Camino