Cubs IF Trey Mancini will skip World Baseball Classic

If Trey Mancini will miss the World Baseball Classic, he appeared on NBC Sports in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs infielder Trey Mancini signed up to play for Italy in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but after signing with the North Siders, he will focus on spring training in Arizona and getting to know his new teammates.

Mancini, who signed a two-year deal with the Cubs earlier this month, feels he should play a role as a senior player with the club, and said building a relationship with Mesa will be a key component of that role.

“We thought I should be with the whole team,” he told reporters at Monday’s briefing. “Especially, I’ll be more of a veteran in the clubhouse. I think it would be better for me to be there in the spring and get to know the guys.

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Mancini, who will likely play first base and outfield for the Cubs through the 2023 season, is looking to bounce back after his performance against the Houston Astros. Acquired at the trade deadline, Mancini batted just .176 with 8 home runs and 22 RBIs in 165 at-bats for the World Series.

He went 1-for-9 with four strikeouts in the World Series, which the Astros won in six games against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Now, Mancini will get to know his new teammates in Arizona while Italy prepares for the World Baseball Classic, which has been delayed two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Italy, led by legendary former catcher Mike Piazza, have been drawn into Group A of the tournament, meaning their opening matches will be played in Taiwan in early March. Chinese Taipei, Cuba, the Netherlands, and Panama are in the lead.

Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman will compete for Puerto Rico in the tournament after winning MVP honors with Team USA in 2017, while outfielder Seiya Suzuki will join a stacked Japanese team in the tournament.

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Japan will host their first round match at the Tokyo Dome, and the second round match will also be played there against Group A teams. Puerto Rico will play its first round game at LoanDepot Park in Miami and its second round game. A game is also planned in Florida.

The Cubs will play an exhibition game against WBC Canada on Wednesday, March 8 at Sloan Park. Pool C matches will be played at Chase Field in Phoenix, where Team USA will play its opening round match.

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