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Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda among Twins planning on competing in World Baseball Classic

In the coming days and months, more Twins will likely be asked to participate as countries set their rosters for the tournament

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins first baseman Jose Miranda is congratulated in the dugout by Carlos Correa after hitting a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 27, 2022.
Michael McLoone / USA Today Sports
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LOS ANGELES — Jose Miranda was expecting a call from Eduardo Perez, the general manager of Puerto Rico’s World Baseball Classic team, at some point. The Twins rookie infielder just didn’t know when it would come.

That call finally came over the weekend, Miranda said, when Perez, phoned to invite the infielder to play for Puerto Rico in the tournament, which will be held in March 2023. The reason Miranda knew to be expecting a call? Twins shortstop Carlos Correa, who has also committed to playing for Puerto Rico, gave him a heads up.

“He was like, ‘Hey man, we need you on that team. I want you on that team,’” Miranda said of Correa.

Correa said he shared the same message with Perez, telling him that Miranda’s bat needed to be in the lineup. The pair are among the handful of Twins who have already committed to playing in the WBC, which will run March 8-21 during spring training. Other Twins who have committed include third baseman Gio Urshela, who will play for Colombia, as well as catcher Sandy Leon, who is from Venezuela but will compete for his wife’s home country of Colombia.

In the coming days and months, more Twins will likely be asked to participate as countries set their rosters for the tournament. The WBC was originally scheduled to be held in 2021 but was postponed due to the pandemic. The last time it was played was in 2017.

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“It was an amazing experience,” Urshela said. “Playing for (your) country is a different sensation. Every game felt like a playoff game. I’m really, really excited.”

In 2017, Puerto Rico lost to the United States in the championship game. Correa called the experience “one of the best times” he’s had playing baseball. Plus, it came with the added benefit of a break from the grind of spring training.

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“It’s a lot more fun than spring training. Spring training is boring and you’re just trying to get through the day, but the Baseball Classic is meaningful and you’re playing for your country,” Correa said. “You don’t get to do that all the time. It was pretty special.”

As part of Puerto Rico’s run, the players dyed their hair blonde. While Correa initially was hesitant to do so, he eventually did — and then kept the hairstyle for a month. Across Puerto Rico, people followed suit to show support for the team.

“It was a great time for the country so hopefully we can bring that back next year and bring a lot of joy,” Correa said. “In ’17 after that, we had the hurricane (Maria) and people lost power and lost a lot of things, but those are the memories that we created. They make a big difference.”

Buxton sits

The Twins hope to have Byron Buxton return to center field in Anaheim when they take on the Angels this weekend. And in order for them to do that, manager Rocco Baldelli said, they must “get him off his feet for a period of time.”

Buxton further aggravated his right knee, which has been bothering him all season, on a play in the outfield in San Diego in late July and he has not started a game in center field since July 31. He has only briefly appeared in center since that day, going out there after coming in as a pinch hitter late in Sunday’s game.

Buxton was not in the starting lineup Wednesday and has only started four of the Twins’ past eight games heading into the series finale at Dodger Stadium.

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“He jumped and landed and landed a little off (and) that set us back a little bit with swelling and a lot of the same stuff he dealt with,” Baldelli said. “… We’re making sure we can get the most out of Byron. He wants to be out there in the outfield as soon as possible. This is just something we have to do.”

Canterino to have surgery

Matt Canterino, one of the Twins’ most promising pitching prospects, will undergo Tommy John surgery later this month, assistant general manager Jeremy Zoll said. Canterino had a 1.95 earned-run average in 13 games — 12 starts — this season for Double-A Wichita but has been on the injured list since June 8.

Canterino also dealt with elbow issues last year and was limited to just 23 innings in 2021.

“We’ve thrown a lot of different ideas and brought a lot of different ideas to the table to try to see if we can get him over the hump,” Zoll said. “Unfortunately, kind of this last go-around on the buildup, it felt like we didn’t have any more stones to turn over and Matt was feeling like surgery was the right call for him to try and get him back up and running from there.”

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