The World Baseball Classic takes place every four years as an international tournament to celebrate the game and promote baseball internationally. Some of the game’s best players are involved, playing for pride for their country. Several Royals are participating, including Eric Hosmer, Danny Duffy, Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar, Drew Butera, Peter Moylan, and Joakim Soria. The Americans have never won the tournament, and have only finished in the top four once - in 2009. The Dominican Republic is the reigning champion, ending back-to-back championships from Japan.
Tonight, Team USA will begin play in their opener against Colombia at 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB TV. The Americans have a pretty star-studded roster that includes hitters like Hosmer, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Adam Jones, Ian Kinsler, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton, Brandon Crawford, Jonathan Lucroy, Daniel Murphy, and Christian Yelich. Among their pitchers include Chris Archer, Marcus Stroman, Michael Fulmer, J.A. Happ, David Robertson, and Royals pitcher Danny Duffy.
The Colombian team is light on Major League stars with pitchers Jose Quintana and Julio Teheran being the biggest names. Infielders Dilson Herrera, Giovanny Urshela and Donovan Solano are the most MLB-experienced position players. The roster also includes Royals minor leaguers like third baseman Mauricio Ramos and catcher Meibrys Viloria, as well as former Royals pitchers Yohan Pino and Sugar Ray Marimon.
The United States will play the Dominican Republic on Saturday and Team Canada on Sunday, with Duffy expected to start that day.
You can find complete team rosters here. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the second round. You can find pools and schedules here. The rules, including pitch limits and replay rules are available here. Games are broadcast exclusively on MLB Network.