The 2023 World Baseball Classic rosters have finally been released. Five Cincinnati Reds big leaguers will be on the rosters of four teams (Luis Cessa – Mexico, Alexis Diaz and Fernando Cruz – Puerto Rico, Ian Gibaut – Great Britain, and Reiver Sanmartin – Colombia). But there will also be 11, maybe 12 (more on that at the bottom) players from the Reds farm system who will be participating in the WBC next month.

Of the 11 players there are only two position players. Brandon Leyton (who has gone by Steven Leyton at times in the past) will be on Team Nicaragua. Newcomer to the organization Henry Ramos will be on Team Puerto Rico.

Ramos signed with the Reds in January and he’s also got an invitation to big league spring training. The outfielder has 18 games of big league experience from the 2021 season with Arizona. During the 2022 season he played in Korea and then followed that up by playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Leyton played at four different levels in 2022, with 51 games in Daytona, 23 in Dayton, 3 in Chattanooga, and 7 with Louisville. He hit .250/.274/.471 with 23 doubles, 6 triples, and 11 home runs during the year before playing winter ball in Nicaragua.

Kyle Glogoski was selected by the Reds in the minor league Rule 5 draft this past December. He’s pitched as high as Triple-A, but that was just one game back in 2021. Last year he pitched mostly in High-A Jersey Shore where he posted a 2.77 ERA in 65.0 innings. Now he’ll be pitching for Team Australia.

Tayron Guerrero and Pedro Garcia will both be pitching for team Colombia. They’ll be on the same pitching staff as Reiver Sanmartin. Guerrero also has an invitation to big league spring training. He’s pitched in parts of three seasons in the big leagues, the last coming in 2019 with Miami. During the 2022 season he pitched in Japan, posting a 3.52 ERA in 46.0 innings with 63 strikeouts to go along with 20 walks. Garcia was dominant in Chattanooga in 2022, posting a 2.17 ERA in 49.2 innings, but he struggled in 6.2 innings with Louisville where he allowed eight runs.

Donovan Benoit helped Great Britain qualify for the World Baseball Classic last fall. He’s coming back to join the team next month. Last season he posted a 4.00 ERA for High-A Dayton, picking up 13 saves and had 61 strikeouts in 45.0 innings to go along with 22 walks.

Evan Kravetz will be on Team Israel. The 6′ 8″ lefty split his season between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga last season where he posted a 4.20 ERA in 83.2 innings. He made eight starts and 20 relief appearances, striking out 103 batters with 41 walks.

Team Italy will have two Cincinnati Reds minor league pitchers on their team. Vin Timpanelli and Nicolo Pinazzi will both be on their pitching staff. Timpanelli saw time in Dayton and Chattanooga in 2022. He posted a 3.94 ERA with the Dragons, but struggled in his 11 games with the Lookouts as he posted a 7.00 ERA and walked more batters than he had innings pitched. Pinazzi pitched in 11 games in Arizona for the complex league team and made one appearance with Single-A Daytona. Between the two stops he posted a 4.85 ERA in 42.2 innings with 73 strikeouts and 28 walks.

Arij Fransen is the lone active Cincinnati Reds player on Team Netherlands, but that team is full of former Reds (both Major Leaguers and Minor Leaguers). In 2022 he saw action at the complex level as well as in Daytona. Between his two stops he made 13 starts and nine relief appearances, posting a 6.96 ERA in 64.2 innings.

The final player from the organization on a WBC roster is Silvino Bracho. He will pitch for Team Venezuela next month. He will also be in big league camp with the Reds until he leaves to join Team Venezuela. He’s pitched in parts of six big league seasons dating back to 2015. Last year he threw 4.1 innings for Atlanta. In the minors he threw 57.1 innings between the Triple-A teams in Gwinnett (Atlanta) and Worcester (Boston) and he posted a 2.67 ERA with just 10 walks and 70 strikeouts in that time.

Update on February 10th

Wilmer Rios has now officially shown up on the Reds transaction page as having been signed.

(original writing continues below)

Now, onto the possible 12th player from the organization. The Cincinnati Reds official twitter account posted a list of the players in the organization that made WBC rosters. It included the above 11 players. But Team Mexico released their own graphic for their roster and it included a pitcher named Wilmer Rios with a Cincinnati Reds logo. Curious as to what was happening here I checked his Baseball Reference page and he’s never pitched in affiliated baseball, spending the last nine years ptiching in the Mexican League. He’s will turn 29-years-old next month and posted a 3.20 ERA across 171.2 innings between his stops with Monclova in the Mexican League and Hermosillo in the Mexican Winter League last year.

There are multiple reports, including one from Monclova that the Cincinnati Reds signed him for the 2023 season on January 16th. As of the time I type this he isn’t on any official transaction sheet anywhere. Occasionally that will happen and things will slip by – it happened earlier in the winter when the team signed Darcy Longstaff out of Australia and even as of today he’s not listed in the player database on any of the MLB/MiLB websites, but I confirmed with the organization that he did indeed sign last year.

But another thing here could be that while it does appear that the Reds bought his contract from Monclova, that the deal hasn’t yet been approved by Major League Baseball. When the international signing period began three weeks ago, Major League Baseball and the professional baseball association in Mexico had just come to an agreement on new/updated terms that allow the two sides to work together. I was told that it would delay signings out of Mexico a little bit because of the timing of the agreement.

9 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    There’s gotta be a better way to do the WBC. It just defies logic to throw guys into games when they should be training to help their org.

      • DaveCT

        I know the rationale, I just don’t like the risk of injury by ramping up too quickly. I’m just not a fan. Why not coordinate and extend all star breaks and play and release guys for the tourni?

      • Doug Gray

        Which All-Star break? The one in the US? The one in Mexico? The one in Japan? The one in Europe? The one in Korea?

        We’re still limited on the sample size of WBC’s but the studies that have been done show there’s no extra injury risk involved compared to spring training.

    • 2020ball

      I think its better honestly, and something they’ll cherish for the rest of their careers

      • Old Big Ed

        I am in that boat, too. It’s not like the Dominican is asking an MLB pitcher to throw 115 pitches on March 12. They let them pitch a couple of innings, or maybe a bit more as the event comes to its end, then bring in another guy.

        God forbid that baseball be fun.

  2. Doc

    Players are not obligated to play in the WBC and they know the risks. If someone gets hurt and it costs him a potential MLB career, well, that’s life. Baseball players have chosen to ride motorcycles of various sorts and suffered career threatening or ending injuries. My understanding is that the WBC is an MLB sanctioned event and that players play with the consent of their organization. So I don’t see a problem. Players could just as easily get hurt in Spring Training.

  3. Old Big Ed

    Ian Gibaut is playing for England, because his dad is English and was a pro cricket player. Gibaut went to Tulane in New Orleans, and has a Cajun-sounding name, so I assumed he was from Louisiana or southeast Texas (like Andy Pettitte).

    You could make a case for having a Cajun team in the WBC, because those guys are from a world like no other. Ron Guidry may have been the best player; the Reds had Blake Trahan, and Wade Miley would probably qualify. Lou Boudreau was not a Cajun, even if most Cajun jokes start with “Boudreau was out on the bayou, and …”

    • Pokey Reese’s Red Hot Bat

      As far as I can tell his father wasn’t a pro-cricketer but he did play 2 games for Oxford University, an amateur college side albeit one who play games against pro sides. He appears to have been a batter but not a very successful one.

      You weren’t far off – linguistically if not geographically – with thinking Gibaut was Cajun sounding though. Gibaut is a Channel Islander (the ones between England and France) name and his father Russel was from Jersey. Whilst the Channel Islands are a British Crown dependency and speak English their surnames and a lot of their place names are of French origin.