Eury Perez was added to the Dominican Republic’s roster for World Baseball Classic on Saturday, according to an announcement by the national team. Perez replaces Melky Mesa, a New York Yankees outfielder who withdrew to remain with his major league team.
Perez will become the second Nationals position player to participate in the event, joining outfielder Roger Bernadina of the Netherlands. Starting pitchers Ross Detwiler and Gio Gonzalez have accepted invitations to pitch for Team USA.
Perez, 22, is in major league camp with the Nationals. He enjoyed a career season in 2012 in the minor leagues, reaching as high as Class AAA Syracuse and earning a September call-up to the majors. The speedy outfielder, who can play all three positions, has stolen 160 bases the past three minor league seasons. He signed with the Nationals in 2007 out of the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican team will play its opening game of the first round in Puerto Rico on Thursday against Venezuela. The first round ends on March 10 and, if the Dominicans advance, they would play the second round at Marlins Park in Miami. That’s where the U.S. team would play if they also advanced.