How many times has Cuba played in the World Baseball Classic?
Cuba will finally be fielding players who play for MLB in the World Baseball Classic, for the first time since joining the inaugural tournament in 2006.
The Cuban roster will look different in the 2023 World Baseball Classic compared to their past participation in the competition. For the first time in its history, the country will allow players who have joined Major League Baseball to be part of its national team. In the past, athletes who emigrated from the island could no longer represent Cuba.
Because of this unprecedented development, the country will be able to utilize the talents of infielder Yoan Moncada and outfielder Luis Robert Moiran of the Chicago White Sox, among other MLB players.
Baseball Olympic gold medalists
Cuba has a long-standing reputation for being a baseball powerhouse, and this is evidenced by their three gold and two silver medals in the Olympics. However, they have not have been able to replicate this success in the World Baseball Classic, which they joined all four times that it has been held.
The best showing of the island nation came about in the inaugural Classic in 2006. They got all the way to the finals, where they fell to the Japanese team 10-6 at Petco Park in San Diego, California.
They didn’t do as well in the second edition of the contest held in 2009, where they reached the second round and ended with a 4-2 record to settle for sixth place.
In 2013, they had an identical 4-2 record, but their position was slightly higher, ending their campaign in round two in fifth place.
Four years later, Cuba’s ranking sank even further, and the team finished the 2017 World Baseball Classic in seventh place.
Cuba’s chances in the pool
The Cuban national team is currently ranked eighth in the world, but they are predicted to finish first in their pool for the 2023 WBC. With the infusion of MLB players into the squad, they might be able to advance further into their Classic run, and achieve some of the glory that they have enjoyed in other International competitions.