Webb will pitch for Team USA in quest to repeat as WBC champs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
After four seasons of pitching for his hometown team, Giants right-hander Logan Webb now will get to represent his country.
Major League Baseball announced Thursday morning that Webb will pitch for Team USA in next spring's World Baseball Classic. Webb is the second Giant to commit to the tournament, joining Joc Pederson, who will play for Team Israel. Others should get plenty of consideration for rosters, including Camilo Doval (Dominican Republic) and Venezuelans Wilmer Flores and Thairo Estrada.
Webb was an obvious selection for Team USA, and not just because he has developed into one of the best right-handers in the game. He is close with Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey, who represented the Giants in the 2017 WBC and won a title for the Americans. Posey came back from that experience and raved about the tournament, saying he initially had planned to be one-and-done but would play again if given the chance.
"It's cliche but there is a certain amount of pride when you have your country's name on your chest," Posey said back in 2017. "A lot of us come from different parts of the country and you get to go out and play the game the way you played as a child."
The Giants have generally preferred that their players stay in camp rather than take the injury risk of playing in the WBC, but they have not stood in the way of their stars and Posey and Crawford had no issues while missing much of camp in 2017.
They were joined for the final two games that year by then-closer Mark Melancon, who had signed a huge four-year deal months earlier. Johnny Cueto was supposed to pitch for the Dominican Republic but he missed the start of camp because of a family obligation and his country had been eliminated by the time he was ready to start a game.
This year's tournament will take place in March with the championship held March 21 in Miami. For Webb, the travel demands will be easy. Team USA is in Pool C, which will play its games at Chase Field, a few miles from Giants camp. Their first exhibition game will come against the Giants on March 8 and their training camp will be held at the Giants facility in Scottsdale. Webb won't have to leave home or his usual spring training facility until the quarterfinals, which will be held in Miami.
The Americans will be heavy favorites to get out of their pool and should have a very good shot at repeating as champions. In addition to Webb, the starting staff includes Adam Wainwright and Nestor Cortes. The lineup will be imposing, with Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, J.T. Realmuto and Paul Goldschmidt among the early commits.
The team will be managed by former Giant Mark DeRosa. Andy Pettitte is the pitching coach and former Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti will be the bullpen coach.