As the Padres Clear Juan Soto for the World Baseball Classic, He Joins the Dominican Republic in Style

Published 03/12/2023, 6:46 AM EDT

World Baseball Classic is already underway, and all teams are giving it their all. With interesting match-ups and all of MLB coming together, it’s exciting to watch teammates battling against each other. With the powerful debut of the Czech Republic and the return of two-time champion Japan, another exciting team this year is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic contains the biggest pool of talented players that join MLB each year. So seeing names like Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Julio Rodriguez, and Nelson Cruz together, has fans on the edge of their seats.

Another talented player that was removed from the roster at the last minute is Vladimir Guerrero Jr., because of right knee discomfort. And the San Diego Padres star Juan Soto almost went down the same path with a calf injury, but the Padres announced he would play in the WBC after all. Once Soto received the green light from the Padres, he could not resist but announce his WBC arrival in style.

Juan Soto couldn’t be more eager to play for the Dominican Republic in the WBC


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The 24-year-old is adding to an already powerful team in Pool D, and the country now has arguably one of the best teams this year. After playing a “B” game with the Padres, Soto was cleared for the WBC. “It went as we thought,” Padres manager Bob Melvin told “[Soto] ran around, stole a base and felt good. It’s nice to get him over there with his guys. Got him out last night, so he could work out with the team for a day before a game.”


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The outfielder left for his country on Thursday on a red-eye flight for a day of practice. He also shared an Instagram post that shows him in the official WBC uniform posing for the camera. His huge grin shows exactly how excited he is for the games to come, and captioned the post, “RD Tamo here…Let me see your flags in the comments”.

Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic so far:

Since Soto is joining his Padres teammates Machado and Cruz this year as part of a stacked roster, their chances of making it far are high. Also joining them is Luis García, a right-hander for the Padres. Historically, this team has had a great run. From a fourth-place finish in 2006 to winning the tournament in 2013, DR is once again set for a great run.


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“We’ve said all along starting here fresh, new season, Spring Training, being around this group. You are going to see what Juan Soto is all about. The back of his baseball card doesn’t lie,” said Melvin.

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And if he keeps us at his performance, Soto might just be the trump card for DR’s win this year!



Arunima Bhanot

292 articles

Arunima Bhanot is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Having earned an English literature degree from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, Arunima has always been interested in writing. She's a fan of archery and was the captain of her college team for two years running. She's an avid reader who also loves photography and travel, and you can find her talking constantly about books and anime on her Instagram!

Edited By: Abhishek Kumar