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Chris Denorfia To Play For Team Italy In World Baseball Classic

The Padres outfielder will once again play for the green, white and red in this March's World Baseball Classic.

Harry How

The last time Chris Denorfia played for Italy was in 2009's World Baseball Classic. He played in 3 games and started in CF in each one. They lost to Venezuela 7-0 in the first game and he went 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout. They then upset Canada 6-2, Denorfia led the team in hits going 4 for 4 with 3 doubles, 2 runs, 2 RBI, a walk and a single. In the rematch with Venezuela they were eliminated after a 10-1 drubbing where Deno went 0 for 3.

It seems likely that even though Denorfia is mostly a RF and LF now for the Padres, he will reprise his role as CF. He will be joined on Team Italy by former Padres prospect Anthony Rizzo and former Padres pitcher (in 2004 and 2006) Brian Sweeney. Former Padres catcher Mike Piazza is on the coaching staff.

Denorfia is the fifth player in the Padres organization announced to be playing in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which starts in early March. Edinson Volquez will play for the Dominican Republic, Luke Gregerson will play for Team USA, outfield prospect Corey Adamson will play for Team Australia, minor league veteran infielder Jesus Merchan will play for Spain and pitching prospect Mark Hardy will play for Team Canada. Some notable ex-Padres playing are Ramon Hernandez who will catch for Venezuela, Adrian Gonzalez, Edgar Gonzalez, Oliver Perez, Jorge Cantu and Rodrigo Lopez who will play for Mexico, Heath Bell will pitch for Team USA and jbox Justin Huber who will play for Australia.

As a refresher, the final 16 teams are USA, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Australia, The Netherlands, Italy and Spain.