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Jeimer Candelario Will Replace Guerrero For Dominican Republic at World Baseball Classic

 Leif Skodnick  |    Mar 5th, 2023 11:47pm EST

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

Washington Nationals infielder Jeimer Candelario will replace Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic roster. The move was confirmed by MLB insider Hector Gomez on Twitter. 

Guerrero, originally penciled into the middle of the Dominican Republic’s lineup, will now miss time with knee inflammation. This would have been the first World Baseball Classic appearance for the 23-year-old. 

Jeimer Candelario is entering his eighth year in Major League Baseball. In his first seven years with the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers, his primary position was third base, where he appeared in 517 games. Candelario will play first base for the Dominican Republic, a position he has played in 64 games at the MLB level.  

With the bat, Candelario is a career .217 hitter, and has hit 66 home runs. He led the major leagues in doubles in 2021 with 42. This winter, Candelario signed a one year, $5 million dollar deal with the Washington Nationals. 

With no primary first basemen on the Dominican Republic roster, Candelario will almost certainly crack the starting lineup. He will join an infield filled with MLB All-Stars that includes Rafael Devers, Wander Franco, Manny Machado, and Willy Adames. 

Candelario will have to quickly make his way to the Dominican Republic’s first workout on March 7 in Lee County, Florida. The team will play their first exhibition game the following day against the Atlanta Braves at 1:05 p.m. EST in North Port, Florida.They will finish exhibition play against the Minnesota Twins on March 9, at 1:05 p.m. EST in Lee County, Florida. 

The Dominican Republic’s first game of the World Baseball Classic in Pool D is against Venezuela on March 11, at 7 p.m. EST. The game will be played at LoanDepot Park, home of the Miami Marlins, and air on Fox Sports 1.