Former Smokies participate in wbc


Four former Smokies will represent three countries in the upcoming World Baseball classic. Photo courtesy:

Former Smokies to Participate in World Baseball Classic Four former Tennessee Smokies were added Thursday to rosters for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Catcher Chris Robinson and pitcher Jim Henderson were added to the Canadian roster. Pitcher Alex Maestri was added to the Italian roster and catcher Miguel Montero, who was added to the Venezuelan squad. Robinson played for the Smokies during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. During his time in Tennessee, Robinson played in 138 games where he batted .246 with 110 hits, two home runs and 46 RBIs.

Chris Robinson will play for Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Robinson spent two seasons in Tennessee. Photo courtesy:

Robinson is now a member of the Baltimore Orioles organization and spent the 2012 season with the Norfolk Tides, Baltimore’s AAA organization. He is originally from London, Ontario and attended the University of Illinois. Henderson was also a Smokie during the 2007-2008 seasons. In 47 appearances, Henderson tallied a 4-4 record while tossing 64.1 innings with 53 strikeouts. He is a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College, which is in nearby Athens, Tennessee.

Jim Henderson's long professional career results in an opportunity to represent home country. Photo courtesy: Mike Strasinger/Nashville Sounds

The Calgary native participated in the 2011 Pan-American Games. Henderson was called up to the Milwaukee Brewers where he made four major league appearances finishing with a 1-3 record in 36 appearances. Maestri is making his third appearance in the World Baseball Classic after appearing in 2006 and 2009. In 2009, Maestri 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts after recording just two outs in his first two appearances in the first World Baseball classic. Italy’s Maestri pitched for the Smokies from 2008-2010. He tallied a 6-6 record in 84 appearances while pitching for Tennessee. Maestri pitched 136.2 innings and recorded 115 strikeouts during his Smokies’ career.

Maestri is making his third appearance in the World Baseball Classic. Photo courtesy: Four Seam Images

Maestri was the first Italian pitcher ever signed by a Major League Baseball team when he signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2006.  He is now pitching with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan. Venezuelan Miguel Montero was a member of the Tennessee Smokies during the 2005-2006 campaigns. He played in 111 games where he had a .264 batting average, 105 hits, 12 home runs and 59 RBIs. As a Smokie, Montero was once a Southern League Player of the Week and was named a 2006 mid-season and post-season All-Star.

Miguel Montero seen here representing the Smokies in the 2006 Southern League All-Star Game. Photo courtesy: Tony Farlow/

Montero is now the starting catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks and was named a 2011 MLB All-Star. He has 73 major league home runs, 334 RBIs, and is a career .275 hitter. Montero is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. The 2013 World Baseball Classic is slated to be held from March 2 to March 19. Japan, the United States, and Puerto Rico will host games and the final will be held at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Stay tuned to throughout the entire World Baseball Classic with updates on Chris Robinson, Jim Henderson, Alex Maestri, and Miguel Montero.

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