World Baseball Classic: four Quebecers will represent Canada

Baseball World Classic: Four Quebecers will represent Canada


Four Quebec players were officially named this Thursday evening to the Canadian roster for the World Baseball Classic: Édouard Julien, Otto Lopez, Abraham Toro and… Phillippe Aumont.

Among them, Julien, Lopez and Toro could share the infield with first baseman Freddie Freeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The name of Charles Leblanc, of the Miami Marlins, is not on the list. The reason: he suffers from a slight injury and caution is required. His primary goal remains breaking into the Marlins' roster for the 2023 season. 

“It's exciting to see these three players from the province of Quebec who have the talent to play in the infield at a high level,” Baseball Canada National Teams Director Greg Hamilton said Thursday. Charles Leblanc is another, but in his case, we understand that he didn't want to take any risks in order to maximize his chances with the Marlins. ”

Otto Lopez

“It's very, very special for me to represent Canada,” commented Lopez, who should logically be used at shortstop. It is the country that welcomed me and welcomed my family. It means a lot to me. 

Earlier this week, the Quebecer of Dominican origin, who plays in the organization of the Toronto Blue Jays, was looking forward with joy to his presence at the tournament with his good friend Toro. The two train regularly together during the off-season in Montreal. They obviously can't wait to get on the court March 12-15 in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to the schedule, Canada will open the round robin with a Group C match against Great Britain on Sunday, March 12. This will be followed in order by matches against the United States, Colombia and Mexico.

Stars in the eyes

Whether it's Julien (Twins), Lopez or Toro (Brewers), each player will take a break from their respective team's training camp in order to participate in the World Classic. For good reason, it's a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the stars of major league baseball.

“He's a star, that guy,” remarked Lopez, in particular, about Freeman, who has led Major League Baseball in hits (199) and doubles (47) in the 2022 season.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Tyler O'Neill, as well as starting pitchers Cal Quantrill of the Cleveland Guardians and Nick Pivetta of the Boston Red Sox, are also part of the core of the Canadian team. In the infield, Damiano Palmegiani, another Jays prospect, and Andy Yerzy, of the Diamondbacks organization, are added to the quartet formed by Freeman, Julien, Lopez and Toro.

Russell Martin on the bench

In addition to the three position players, pitcher Phillippe Aumont is the fourth Quebec athlete to earn a spot on the Canadian team. Aumont, who is temporarily out of retirement, will work under the supervision of Denis Boucher, pitching coach.

Former catcher Russell Martin will also be among the assistants to manager Ernie Whitt, as will Larry Walker. 

Canadian team for the World Baseball Classic


  • Freddie Freeman
  • Édouard Julien*
  • Otto Lopez*
  • Damiano Palmegiani
  • Abraham Toro*
  • Andy Yerzy


  • Owen Caissie
  • Denzel Clarke< /li>
  • Tyler O'Neill
  • Jacob Robson
  • Jared Young


  • Kellin Deglan
  • Bo Naylor


  • Andrew Albers
  • Phillippe Aumont*
  • John Axford
  • Matt Brash
  • Mitch Bratt< /li>
  • Trevor Brigden
  • Indigo Diaz
  • RF Freure
  • Adam Loewen
  • Scott Mathieson
  • Nick Pivetta
  • Cal Quantrill
  • Evan Rutckyj
  • Noah Skirrow
  • Cade Smith
  • Curtis Taylor
  • Rob Zastryzny