By Jason Shetler
According to Team Italy manager Marco Mazzieri, Francisco Cervelli is on Italy’s preliminary roster for the World Baseball Classic.
Cervelli entered 2016 in his second season in Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old backstop agreed to sign a three-year extension with the Pirates worth $31 million in May. A month later, Cervelli had an injury to his hamate bone that required surgery. He only threw out 19% of baserunners this season, which may have played a role in his throwing hand not being at full strength following the surgery. Cervelli however had another productive year in the on base department, as he posted a .377 OBP in 393 plate appearances.