Former MLB infielder Yu Chang listed on Taiwan WBC team roster

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Former Major League Baseball (MLB) utility infielder Yu Chang (full name Chang Yu-cheng, 張育成) was listed on Taiwan’s 36-man roster for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) announced Friday.

The lineup was selected by Taiwan (officially “Chinese Taipei”) team manager Lin Yueh-ping (林岳平) and headed by Wang Wei-chen (王威晨) as captain. A final roster of 30 players will be finalized by Feb. 6.

Chang sparked a furor on Jan. 1 when he asked not to be picked to play in the WBC, after being allowed to serve just 12 days of his compulsory four month military service in return for his participation in the 2019 Asian Baseball Championship. Continuing to play for the national team for the next five years whenever selected was a further condition of his shortened military service.

However, after meeting with Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) Commissioner Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) on Jan. 3 Chang promised to play “if selected.”

At the time, Chang explained that he initially declined to play in the the WBC at the suggestion of his American agency, so as to better prepare for a potential MLB spring training invitation, adding that he is very willing to suit up for the country.

Chang was the only Taiwanese player to feature in the MLB during the 2022 season and is the only player from Taiwan to record 100 hits in his MLB career.

In his 190 at-bats through 69 games for four teams, Chang achieved a 0.208 batting percentage, four homers and 15 RBIs, while serving as a utility infielder.

According to the CPBL, the 36-man roster consists of 17 pitchers, four catchers, nine infielders and six outfielders.

In addition to Chang, the tentative lineup has seven more players who played abroad in 2022 or are currently playing abroad, including three infielders — Lin Tzu-wei (林子偉) in Australia’s ABL, Wu Nien-ting (吳念庭) in Japan’s NPB, Cheng Tsun-che (鄭宗哲) in the MiLB — and Wang Po-jung (王柏融) in the NPB as the only outfielder.

Moreover, NPB’s Sung Chia-hao (宋家豪) and Chang Yi (張奕) and MiLB’s Teng Kai-wei (鄧愷威) will make contributions on the mound.

The rest of the 28 players come from the five teams that make up the CPBL, with the CTBC Brothers and the Rakuten Monkeys’ providing seven players each.

The team will start practice on Jan. 28, but players who play in Japan and the United States will not join until February.

Taiwan is in Pool A with the Netherlands, Cuba, Italy and Panama. Games start on March 8 in Taichung, with the top two teams in Group A and Group B advancing to the quarterfinals in Tokyo.

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