Former Yankees pitcher Clay Rapada heads Philippine team vying in World Baseball Classic qualifier
The Philippines is fielding a mix of local and foreign based players, including MLB free agent Clay Rapada.  

FORMER New York Yankees pitcher Clay Rapada heads 28-man Philippine squad seeing action in the 2016 World Baseball Classic (WBC) qualifier set February 11 to 14 in Sydney.

Rapada, who made it to the opening day roster of the Yankees in 2012, will be joined by catcher Brad Haynal and first baseman Angelo Songco, two players who are playing in the minor leagues, according to the rosters released by the WBC.

Rapada is currently a free agent.

Haynal is playing for Miami Marlins Single-A affiliate Batavia Muckdogs, while Songco is part of the Tulsa Drillers, a ‘AA’ affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tim Hulett, a manager for Texas Rangers Single-A affiliate Spokane Indians, will handle the Philippine team competing in the WBC qualifiers for the second time.

Also in the team are Chris Aguila, Adriane Bernardo, Ernesto Binarao, JR Bunda, Leslie Cabiling, Brady Conlan, Edmer Del Socorro, Vladimir Eguia, Eric Farris, Taylor Garrison, Austin Haynal, Romeo Jasmin, Ryan Juarez, Ferdinand Liguayan, Juan Paolo Macasaet, Alfredo Olivares, Jennald Pareja, Ronel Peralta, Jonash Ponce, Devon Ramirez, Jon Jon Robles, Kevin Vance, Matt Vance, Diaz Vermon, and Joshua Wong.

The Philippines faces Australia on February 11 to begin the modified double-elimination format tournament, which allows player with blood lineage to a certain country to suit up even if he isn’t a passport holder that country.

The winner will advance to the main tournament slated March 2017.

The Philippines went 1-2 in the 2013 edition, beating the Johnny Damon-led Thailand team 8-2 for its lone victory.

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