Two four team WBC qualifier tournaments are currently going on (with two more set for November) with the winners taking the last four spots in the upcoming WBC tournament. One group is playing a double elimination bracket in Jupiter, FL at the Marlins/Cardinals spring training complex, including Spain, France, South Africa, and Israel. The other in Regensburg, Germany and includes Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Czech Republic. Typically strong in international competition, Canada found their way into the qualifier after consecutive losses to the US and Italy in 2009.
Ok, on to the Mets participation… Josh Satin and Jeff Kaplan are on the Israel squad which also includes 39 year old former Met Shawn Green. Kai Gronauer is on the German team and Hamilton Bennett is on the Great Britain squad. The Canada squad has a former Mets flavor with Shawn Bowman and Jon Malo, joining soon to be minor league free agent Adam Loewen. Other Mets will be participating in the November qualifiers, so far only Ruben Tejada (and Manny Acosta who may not even be a Met at that time) have been announced.
Josh Satin has played both games at 3B for Israel (2-0) and is 2-for-5 with 2 singles, 4 BB and 1 K.
Jeff Kaplan RHP recorded the final two outs in their 7-3 win over South Africa allowing 1 BB. Kaplan missed more than two months of this year on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. The extra activity will be helpful in extending his season and determining the health of his shoulder going into next year.
Israel will play next on Sunday after the rest of the pool is narrowed down to one. Spain at 1-1 will play the survivor of France and South Africa who played to a 2-2 suspended game when rain halted play last night. After the resumption of that game at noon Sat, the winning team will face Spain that night at 7 pm.
Kai Gronauer caught Germany’s first game and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Germany beat Czech Republic 16-1 in a 6 inning mercy shortened game.
Adam Loewen was 2-for-4 with a rbi double and 1 K in Canada’s 11-1 win over Great Britain, shortened to 7 innings on mercy. Great Britain had a difficult time finding quality pitching, using both the Dodgers LHP Chris Reed who split the year between A+ and AA, and the Angels LHP Mike Roth who pitched for South Carolina U and then in the Angels rookie level.
Hamilton Bennett has yet to appear for GB.
Today in Germany, Germany will take on Canada at 1pm ET while Great Britain eliminated the Czechs this morning, in a 12-5 game and will take on the loser of the Canada-Germany game tomorrow.
Games can be watched on mlb.com for free and more info on these on going tournaments can be found here.