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Bednar, Contreras Headline Pirates Competing in WBC

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Pittsburgh Pirates, David Bednar

After the World Baseball Classic was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the tournament is returning this year for the first time since 2017.

Players from across Major League Baseball will be among the players participating in this year’s WBC, and that includes members from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates will have four of their big league pitchers representing three different countries in this year’s tournament.

RHP David Bednar, United States

The man who represents his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates will now be representing his country as he will be trading in his black and gold jersey for a blue and red one.

Bednar, 28, has established himself as one of the stronger relief arms in the game and was named an All-Star for the first time this past season.

For his career, Bednar has posted a 2.98 ERA with 22 saves in parts of four seasons including a 2.40 mark with Pittsburgh.

RHP Roansy Contreras, Dominican Republic

The favorites to win this year’s WBC is the Dominican Republic and Contreras will have a spot on their roster.

Contreras is on the younger side at 23 years old, but he certainly is talented.

The right-hander completed his first extended look in the big leagues in 2022 and went 5-5 with a 3.79 ERA across 21 appearances/18 starts for the Pirates.

LHP Jarlín García, Dominican Republic

One of the newest Pirates, García will be putting on the Dominican Republic’s uniform before he takes the mound at PNC Park.

The Pirates signed the left-handed reliever as a free agent earlier this winter.

In six big league seasons, García 17-15 with a 3.61 ERA.

RHP Duane Underwood Jr., Puerto Rico

Though Underwood was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, he will be representing team Puerto Rico.

Underwood has been one of the more dependent relief arms for the Pirates the last two seasons, totaling 130 frames combined.

Other notes

In addition to players on the current roster, pitchers Tahnaj Thomas (Great Britain), Santiago Florez (Colombia), Antwone Kelly (Netherlands), Jeffrey Passantino (Italy), Alessandro Ercolani (Italy) and Rob Zastryzny (Canada) as well as infielder Tsung-Che Cheng (Taipei) outfielders Josh Palacios (Netherlands) and Chavez Young (Great Britain) will also be competing.

Among the players not competing in the WBC this year is Ji-Man Choi, who the Pirates denied from participating.

Choi is working his way back from offseason elbow surgery. The Pirates acquired Choi from Tampa bay in November.

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