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Italy Looks To Improve In Fifth World Baseball Classic Appearance

 Leif Skodnick  |    Feb 20th, 2023 4:07am EST

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Italy will start in Pool A of the 2023 World Baseball Classic under manager Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza. Italy has played in the World Baseball Classic since the first year of the tournament of the 2006 edition and will carry players from high affiliates of the minor leagues, major league players, international league players, independent leagues in the states, and their federations professional Serie A1 circuit outside of free agent professional players.  

Italy is currently ranked 16th in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) rankings as they were released before the New Year. They are the third-best team currently in the WBCS Europe sector, with the Czech Republic ranked at 15th and the Netherlands at seventh. In Pool A, Italy will have to face Cuba, the Netherlands, host nation Chinese Taipei, and Panama from March 8-13 at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium. 

Italy is 5-10 in the World Baseball Classic and made it out of the first pool round in the 2013 tournament going 2-3, with wins against Mexico and Canada before losing in the double-elimination second pool round against Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Italy went 1-3 during pool play, losing to Venezuela in the tiebreaker game 4-3 at Estadio Charros de Jalisco.  

Italy has the second-most European Championships, with 10 gold medals in 34 appearances, behind the Netherlands with 24 gold medals, and has also appeared in the Olympics five times. Those teams were built with players from their professional league in their country, but the World Baseball Classic will show Italy has a pool of talented players from both the major leagues and minor leagues from which the country can build a deep roster.  

Italy will play their first game of the World Baseball Classic against Cuba on March 9 at 6 a.m. EST on Tubi.  

Italy Roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic

* denotes Designated Pitcher Pool     
CFA denotes current Free Agent

Pitchers (Team)    
Vincenzo Aiello* (Staten Island FerryHawks)
Glenn Albanese Jr.* (Los Angeles Angels)
Alex Bassani* (Unipolsai Fortitudo Bologna)
Joe Biagini (Toronto Blue Jays)
Matteo Bocchi* (CFA) 
Ryan Castellani (Oakland A’s)
Tiago da Silva* (Generales de Durango)
Alessandro (Ercolani Pittsburgh Pirates)
Nick Fanti (CFA)
Matt Festa (Seattle Mariners)
Sam Gaviglio (Los Angeles Dodgers) 
Matt Harvey (CFA) 
Joe LaSorsa (Tampa Bay Rays) 
Braxton Lorenzini (CFA) 
Joey Marciano (San Francisco Giants) 
Brian Marconi* (Philadelphia Phillies) 
Vinny Nittoli (Chicago Cubs 
Andre Pallante (St. Louis Cardinals)
Jeffrey Pasantino* (Gigantes de Carolina) 
Nicolo Pinazzi (Cincinnati Reds)
Claudio Scotti (New York Mets)
Mitchell Stumpo (Arizona Diamondbacks) 
Vin Timpanelli (Cincinnati Reds) 
Michele Vassalotti (Milwaukee Brewers)
Stephen Woods Jr. (CFA) 

Catchers (Team)
Dominic Miroglio (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Alberto Mineo (Chicago Cubs)
Brett Sullivan (San Diego Padres)
Vito Friscia (Philadelphia Phillies)

Infielders (Team)
David Fletcher (Los Angeles Angels)
Robel Garcia (Chicago Cubs)
John Valente (Detroit Tigers)
Nicky Lopez (Kansas City Royals)
Vinnie Pasquantino (Kansas City Royals)
Miles Mastrobuoni (Chicago Cubs)

Outfielders (Team)
Ben Deluzio (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Sal Frelick (Milwaukee Brewers)
Dominic Fletcher (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Coaching Staff
Manager – Mike Piazza
Bench coach – Blake Butera
Pitching coach – Michael Borzello
First base coach – Jack Santora
Third base coach – Chris Denorfia
Bullpen coach – Jason Simontacchi