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Wang, Kuo among 28-man roster for Taiwan in WBC

By Joseph Yeh--Former Washington Nationals starter Chien-Ming Wang (王建民) and ex-Los Angeles Dodgers setup man Hong-Chih Kuo (郭泓志) were among a roster announced by Taiwan's baseball association yesterday who will represent their country in the upcoming World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament this March.

The only active Taiwanese major league pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (陳偉殷) of the Baltimore Orioles, however, was not among the 28-man roster announced yesterday in Taipei by Taiwan's national squad manager Hsieh Chang-heng (謝長亨).

Chen has already declined to join the team, saying that he intends to spend time with his newborn baby boy while preparing for next season.

Che-Hsuan Lin (林哲瑄), an outfielder in the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB) is also included on the list.

The 28-man roster for team Taiwan, playing under the name Chinese Taipei, will be backboned by 16 players from the local Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), as well as young talents who are currently active in pro and farm teams in Japan and the United States.

In terms of positions, the roster has 13 pitchers, 3 catchers, 7 infielders, and 5 outfielders.

The squad will convene for training on Feb. 4 in Taichung, according to Hsieh.

WBC first-round matches will be played in Fukuoka, Japan; Taichung, Taiwan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Phoenix, Arizona.

Only the top two finishers in each pool will move to the second round after three games.

Taiwan will be facing South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands on their home turf starting March 2.

The WBC, an international baseball tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and created by the MLB, is the highest-level international competition of baseball after the International Olympic Committee voted in 2005 to remove the sport from the Olympic program following the 2008 Beijing Games.

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