Current and former Toronto Blue Jays outfielders Dalton Pompey and Michael Saunders headline the 24-man roster that will represent Canada’s national baseball team at the Pan American Games Qualification Tournament, taking place Jan. 29-Feb. 3 in Ibiúna and São Paulo, Brazil.
Joining Pompey and Saunders are five more players with Major-League experience in Phillippe Aumont, Chris Leroux, Adam Loewen, Dustin Molleken, Dalton Pompey and Scott Richmond.
Canada is a part of an eight-team field that includes host Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela. Only the top four teams from this tournament will qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
At the helm of the Canadian squad will be one of the first Blue Jays players in history, Ernie Whitt, who will take the reins for the national team for a 15th time. Whitt will be accompanied by Larry Walker, Denis Boucher, Paul Quantrill, Tim Leiper, and Greg Hamilton on his coaching staff.
“It’s always an honour to coach Team Canada,” said Whitt in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with our coaching staff and this talented group of players with the goal of qualifying for the Pan Am Games.”
Canada will hold a training camp in West Palm Beach, Fla., from Jan. 22-26 before opening its qualification tournament on Jan. 29 against Panama.
The full 24-man Canadian roster can be viewed below:
Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.)
Andrew Case (Saint John, N.B.)
Jay Johnson (Sussex Corner, N.B.)
Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, Ont.)
Chris Leroux (Mississauga, Ont.)
Adam Loewen (Surrey, B.C.)
Dustin Molleken (Regina, Sask.)
Jared Mortensen (Abbotsford, B.C.)
Jasvir Rakkar (Brampton, Ont.)
Dylan Rheault (Garson, Ont.)
Scott Richmond (Vancouver, B.C.)
Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, Ont.)
Kellin Deglan (Langley, B.C.)
Dustin Houle (Penticton, B.C.)
Andy Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.)
Wes Darvill (Richmond, B.C.)
Jesse Hodges (Victoria, B.C.)
Otto Lopez (Montréal, Que.)
Daniel Pinero (Toronto, Ont.)
Eric Wood (Oshawa, Ont.)
Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.)
Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.)
Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.)
Michael Saunders (Victoria, B.C.)