No surprises on Cuban provisional team

Final 30-man team must be submitted by March 3

Pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo is among the players on Cuba's WBC roster. (Bas Czerwinski/AP)

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Cuba is anticipated to be one of the most closely watched teams in next month's inaugural World Baseball Classic, and we now have a clearer idea of the Cuban players the world will be watching.

Making official its agreement to participate in the 16-team tournament, the Cuban Baseball Federation on Friday submitted its 60-man provisional roster.

The provisional rosters of the other competing nations had been announced Jan. 18, but the process for Cuba was delayed until the United States Treasury Dept. reversed an earlier decision to deny the nation's participation.

There were no surprises on the roster submitted by the Federation. The list is identical to the one circulated in earlier media reports, and which has appeared as "unofficial" on

As previously noted, it is an extremely young roster, with the infusion of fresh talent headlined by 16-year-old outfielder Dayan Viciedo.

The 60 men on the roster average 24 years of age, and nine of them are under 20.

As is the case with the 15 other teams in the global field, Cuba now has until five days prior to its opening game to trim the roster down to the competitive 30.

Cuba's Pool 3 opener against Panama in San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium is scheduled for March 8. Thus, it must cut down to 30 by March 3. Puerto Rico and The Netherlands are the two other teams in Pool 3.

Once set, the 30-man rosters will remain frozen for the duration of the March 3-20 WBC, with the exception of injury replacements following each of the first two rounds.

Tom Singer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.