Cheryl Pursell

The Phillies have 10 players who will represent their country in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

The 2017 World Baseball Classic is set for March 6-22 in sites across the world. This year's classic will include 10 Phillies players, eight of whom are on the 40-man roster.

It's got to be an interesting choice for some players whether or not to play in the World Baseball Classic. For instance, Jeanmar Gomez is technically still the Phillies closer, but he's got competition breathing down his neck in the form of Hector Neris, but Gomez has decided to pitch in the WBC for Venezuela. Gomez will have three Phillies teammates joining him on the roster, with center fielder Odubel Herrera, shortstop Freddy Galvis and reliever Edubray Ramos all playing for Venezuela.

While Herrera and Galvis have their opening day assignments cemented, Ramos is in a situation more like that of Gomez. Ramos will be looking to solidify a spot in the back end of a revamped Phillies bullpen and has veterans Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit to battle with.

http://www.scout.com/mlb/phillies/story/1729482-pbi-annual-members-get-s...  Meanwhile, Neris and Neshek won't be in Phillies camp, they'll be pitching in the WBC, as well. Neshek is on the United States roster, while Neris is on the Dominican Republic roster.

Also making WBC rosters are minor leaguers Jorge Alfaro (Columbia), and minor league pitchers Nick Pivetta (Canada), Kenny Koplove (Israel) and Nick Fanti (Italy).

The absences of some players could create more showcase time for other players. The biggest benefactor may be shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford, who figures to see an uptick in his playing time at shortstop with Galvis out of camp. Crawford is likely a mid-year or at least September roster addition to assume the Phillies shortstop role and the added playing time should help him to learn the ropes. 

With a number of relievers missing time in camp, pitchers like Victor AranoPedro BeatoSean BurnettDalier Hinojosa and Colton Murray could benefit from getting some extra outings in front of the big league coaching staff.

Alfaro is a potential call-up during the season, but his absence gives more time to the catchers fighting to backup Cameron RuppBryan HoladayRyan Hanigan, and young Andrew Knapp will be battling to win the second catcher's job on the Phillies roster.

The Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater on Monday, with position players filing in by Thursday.


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