The first game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic is just moments away. The initial game pits Australia against host Chinese Taipei. So we thought we would look at the starting pitchers for each team quickly before the game begins.
Chris Oxspring will get the nod for Team Australia on the mound today. He is the oldest player on the Australian roster and has had a lot of international experience. He won a silver medal with in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. This is his second WBC, but he did not appear in a game in 2009.
Oxspring has some MLB experience as well, although not a lot. He was signed in 2001 by the San Diego Padres and made his Major League debut with them in September 2005. He appeared in five games, all in relief, pitching a total of 12 innings at the MLB level.
He is well traveled on the minor league circuit, and has pitched for the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League as well over the past few years having success everywhere he has pitched.
He is a veteran pitcher who will not be intimidated by any opponent in any park.
Chinese Taipei will start their most experienced pitcher in Chien-Ming Wang. The right-handed sinker ball pitcher has had two seasons of 19 wins at the MLB level and has won 61 total MLB games.
He not only has the most Major League experience, but he has a lot of international experience as well pitching in the 2004 Olympics, 2003 Asian Baseball Championship, 2002 Asian Games, and the 1999 World Port Tournament.
He was signed out of college by the New York Yankees in 2000 and made his MLB debut in 2005. In 2012, Wang pitched with the Washington Nationals.
The two teams last faced each other in international competition in the 2009 World Cup in Italy splitting a pair of games.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.