Two Marlins — Giancarlo Stanton and Steve Cishek — are among 27 players chosen to represent the United States in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
“I’m so pumped to be part of this team and to be able to have this experience,” said Cishek, Miami’s 26-year-old reliever. “It gave me goose bumps.”
Stanton and Cishek were selected for Team USA’s provisional roster. Joining them are Brewers outfielder and former University of Miami star Ryan Braun, as well as former Marlins closer Heath Bell.
Stanton, the Marlins’ big slugger, has known for quite a while that he would be chosen.
But Cishek had no inkling until he received a text message Monday gauging his interest and a phone call from Team USA manager Joe Torre on Tuesday confirming his participation.
Cishek didn’t need any convincing.
“It’s definitely an honor,” said Cishek, who inherited the closer’s role for the Marlins last season because of Bell’s repeated failures. “It’s a dream come true.”
Cishek said that when he learned that Bell had also been chosen, he quickly fired off a text message congratulating his former teammate, who was traded to Arizona following a miserable season with Miami.
“He was chanting back, ‘USA, USA,’ ” Cishek said.
Team USA will play its first-round games March 8-10 in Phoenix in Pool D, along with teams from Mexico, Canada and Italy. The winner and runner-up from Pool D will advance to the second round March 12-16 at Marlins Park.
Several former Marlins will be playing for their countries in the tournament. They include Miguel Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez.