Veras among four Astros on final Classic rosters
Closer will play for Domincan Republic team in event that begins on March 2
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros closer Jose Veras has been added to the Dominican Republic's final roster for the World Baseball Classic, which was released on Thursday.
Astros right-hander Rhiner Cruz (Spain), left-hander Xavier Cedeno (Puerto Rico) and outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (Chinese Taipei) also appeared on final rosters, as expected. Lin left camp on Wednesday to train with his team. Minor League pitcher Murilo Gouvea is on Brazil's final roster.
Veras, 32, went 5-4 with a 3.63 ERA last season in 72 games and 67 innings for Milwaukee before signing a one-year deal with Houston.
Cruz, who was born in the Dominican Republic, appeared in 52 games in his rookie season in 2012, posting a 6.05 ERA. He was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft and ranked fifth among National League rookies in appearances.
Cedeno, a native of Puerto Rico, appeared in 44 games in two stints with the Astros last season after beginning the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He posted a 3.77 ERA, closing the season with 12 consecutive scoreless outings.
Lin, claimed off waivers from Boston in October, spent most of his 2012 season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .247 with 11 doubles, 30 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a .323 on-base percentage. He had four stints on the Red Sox active roster last season, hitting .250 in nine games, which mark his only Major League experience.
Gouvea, who was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, went 2-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 50 games in relief last year at Class A Lexington.
Brazil is in Pool A with Japan, China and Cuba and will have round-robin play March 2-6 in Japan. Chinese Taipei is in Pool B with Korea, the Netherlands and Australia and will have pool play March 2-5 in Taiwan.
Puerto Rico and Spain are both in Pool C and will hold round-robin play March 7-10 in Puerto Rico. The championship round will be held March 17-19 in San Francisco.