Rodrigo Lopez spent 11 years in the big leagues, pitching for the Padres, Orioles, Rockies, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Cubs from 2000-12. He’s now the general manager of Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic, and he said something pretty noteworthy to MLB insider Jon Morosi about Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 2, 2023
There aren’t really official “captains” on WBC teams, but Urias is easily the most accomplished pitcher on the team, having finished seventh and third in the Cy Young voting the last two years. There are other stars or semi-stars on the team, including Alejandro Kirk, Randy Arozarena, and Alex Verdugo, but Urias makes sense as the team leader.
Julio has talked about how much it means for him to play for Team Mexico, saying:
“It’s going to be a very special thing for me, a very special moment for everybody, to represent Team Mexico. Mexico is everything for me, to be able to represent the country and my team. … Even here, when we play at Dodger Stadium, I feel like it’s a part of little Mexico when I come out and pitch amongst all my fans out here. … [My family] are all very excited, they’ve seen me wear the Team Mexico jersey when I was a child, but now they’re going to see me wear it professionally and they’re all very excited for me.”
It’s sometimes hard to believe Urias is still only 26 years old. He’s been in the big leagues for seven years, finally coming into his own the last two years and establishing himself as a true ace. He led the National League with a 2.16 ERA in 2022, the first Mexican-born pitcher ever to win an ERA title.
Team Mexico’s WBC experience kicks off at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 11, and they play Team USA on March 12. Colombia, Great Britain, and Freddie Freeman’s Canada team are the other countries in the pool with Team USA and Team Mexico.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Please subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more all year long!