In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs will play for Italy.
The 23-year-old first baseman was not invited to play for the United States, but was given permission from the Cubs to play for the Italian team, according to a Jan. 16 ESPN Chicago article.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he isn’t worried about Rizzo not being able to practice with them.
“They are going to do the same things in a spring training game that they would in the Classic,” Sveum said in the same article. “He will be working out with us and go over there for a few games and see what happens.”
Rizzo, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2007, had his Major Baseball League debut in 2011 when he was traded to the San Diego Padres where he got off to a rough start. He was given development time in the Triple-A Iowa to begin the year and that June he was finally given another chance in the MBL, according to an ESPN MLB article.
Rizzo is excited to start training with the Italian team.
“I think it is just a few days of mini- camp with Team Italy,” Rizzo said according to an ESPN Chicago article.