Numerous Los Angeles Angels players are going to participate in the upcoming 2023 World Baseball Classic, and coach Benji Gil will also manage for Team Mexico.
Angels manager Phil Nevin has previously expressed his support for all members of the organization who will make the commitment to represent their respective nations in the WBC, citing pride and honor to play against the best talent the world has to offer right before the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season is scheduled to get underway.
“We were just talking about that. And I think we are right around 12 and a couple of coaches,” said Nevin. “I’m not worried about it at all.
“What I’ve told those guys, what I’ve told some other interview, had some other interviews here, couldn’t be more happy for those guys,” said Nevin. “One of the highlights of my career was in college getting to play in the Olympics in Barcelona, wearing U.S.A. across my chest.”
Gil spent parts of eight seasons in MLB as a player from 1993-to-2003 with both the Texas Rangers and the Angels. He played a key role during several playoff games during the 2002 Angels World Series run, etching his name in franchise lore.
Although his presence wasn’t felt in superstar fashion with his statistics, his appointment as Team Mexico’s manager during the most recent Summer Olympics, was a nod of support.
Houston Astros pitcher José Urquidy, L.A. Dodgers Julio Urías, and Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays announced their intentions to play in the WBC, providing Gil with multiple high-level players to deploy where needed.
Gil has been with the Angels since being named as the bench coach prior to the 2022 season.
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval to join Benji Gil with Team Mexico in WBC
Patrick Sandoval will represent Team Mexico, as he joins Mike Trout, who will serve as team captain for Team USA, and Shohei Ohtani, who said he plans to play for Team Japan and contribute in any way he can.
Following a breakout season with the Angels in 2022, the 26-year-old Sandoval carried a 2.91 ERA over 27 starts.
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