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Astros' Tucker commits to playing for Team USA, Pettitte to coach in World Baseball Classic

Several players have already commited to the WBC ahead of its return next year.
Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Kyle Tucker watches his RBI single off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Chicago. Alex Bregman scored on the play. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

HOUSTON — Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker has committed to Team USA for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, the MLB confirmed Saturday.

Tucker joins an already stacked roster of guys including Mookie Betts and Pete Alonso as the roster begins to take shape ahead of the tournament in March.

The WBC was canceled in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, Team USA won its first title in the 2017 tournament, defeating Puerto Rico in the championship, 8-0.

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Rosters won't be finalized until the offseason, but several big names have committed to Team USA already, including Ken Griffey Jr. and former Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte, who will both coach the squad.

Tucker was named to his first MLB All-Star team this season and is hitting .260 with 22 home runs and 19 stolen bases on the season. He's also in the middle of a 17-game hitting streak.

Angels star Mike Trout and Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins join Tucker and Betts as outfielders committed to Team USA for 2023.

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The WBC will expand to 20 teams for the first time, and the 16 teams that participated in the 2017 WBC have an automatic berth for 2023: Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States, and Venezuela.

The remaining four spots will be decided by qualifying events.

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