Astros have 6 players on World Baseball Classic rosters
Six players from the Astros organization have been selected to play in the World Baseball Classic: outfielder Fernando Martinez (Spain), right-hander Rhiner Cruz (Spain) and left-hander Xavier Cedeno (Puerto Rico), right-handed pitcher Murilo Gouvea (Brazil), outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (Chinese Taipei) and right-hander Chia-Jen Lo (Chinese Taipei).
Provisional rosters were due on Wednesday, but all 16 teams have until Feb. 20 to file their formal rosters.
Martinez, claimed off waivers from the Mets a year ago, hit .237 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 118 at-bats last year for Houston, playing in a career-high 41 games. Though he’s playing for Spain, he was born in the Dominican Republic.
Cruz, who was also born in the Dominican Republic, appeared in 52 games in his rookie season in 2012, posting a 6.05 ERA. He was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft and ranked fifth among NL rookies in appearances.
Cedeno, a native of Puerto Rico, appeared in 44 games in two stints with the Astros last year after beginning the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He posted a 3.77 ERA, closing the season with 12 consecutive scoreless outings.
Lo, who missed almost all of the 2010-11 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery, made it back to the mound last year and appeared in 10 games between the Gulf Coast League and Class A Lancaster.
Lin, claimed off waivers from Boston in October, spent most of his 2012 season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .247 with 11 doubles, 30 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a .323 on-base percentage. He had four stints on the Red Sox active roster last season, hitting .250 in nine games, which marks his only Major League experience.
Gouvea, who was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, went 2-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 50 games in relief last year at Class A Lexington.
Brazil is in Pool A with Japan, China and Cuba and will have round robin play March 2-6 in Japan. Chinese Taipei is in Pool B with Korea, the Netherlands and Australia and will have pool play March 2-5 in Taiwan.
Puerto Rico and Spain are both in Pool C and will hold round robin play March 7-10 in Puerto Rico. The championship round will be held March 17-19 in San Francisco.
Starting pitchers are restricted to 65 pitches in the first round, 80 in the second and 95 in the semifinals and finals. A starter must take four days off if he throws more than 50 pitches.
Relievers can pitch on back-to-back days if they don’t exceed 30 pitches the first day. Throw 30 in a game and you must take one off. After back-to-back appearances, regardless of pitch counts, pitchers must get a day off.