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Storylines: World Baseball Classic semi-finals begin today

The World Baseball Classic kicks back into action this evening with the first of two semi-finals matchups with Puerto Rico taking on the Netherlands. The IBI's Jamyson Frierson discusses that and more as he runs down the news and notes from Sunday....

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· The journey for Team USA will get tougher as they head to the final round of the WBC. After a great win on Saturday night against the Dominican Republic, the intrigue will grow as they face the two-time WBC champions Japan on Tuesday. In the other semi-final matchup it will be another tough battle for Puerto Rico as they take on the Netherlands tonight. Puerto Rico is 6-0 in the classic so far. Pool play is over and it is now down to a single elimination four team tournament.

News and Notes

· According to Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago, veteran righty John Lackey doesn’t expect this season to be his last. He is currently 38 years old.

· Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the St. Louis Cardinals have given the fifth and final spot in the rotation to righty Michael Wacha. Trevor Rosenthal was the favorite, but fell out of contention due to injuries.

· Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that righty Tyson Ross will throw live batting practice on Wednesday. It will be the first time he’s pitched since undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in October.

· According to Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Royals have released veteran righty Brandon League, and have traded first baseman Brandon Dulin to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a PTBNL.

· Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports that Boston Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz left his start Sunday after two innings due to tightness in his left triceps. He could miss some time.

· According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray is going to Chicago today for a second opinion on his lat strain. If cleared, he would be able to make his debut in the beginning of April instead of the end.

· Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier will undergo an MRI on his back today. He’s been bothered by lower back stiffness the last two weeks.

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