1/17 Rizzo, Searle & Wang in Classic

First baseman Anthony Rizzo headlines a short list of Cubs players who will participate in the World Baseball Classic. Rizzo will play for Team Italy, while pitcher Ryan Searle will play for Australia and prospect Yao-Lin Wang and former Minor Leaguer Hung-Wen Chen will pitch for Chinese Taipei.

Wang appeared in 37 games for Class A Peoria, and was 3-2 with 12 saves in 14 opportunities and a 3.19 ERA in 28 games, and went 1-3 with a 4.57 ERA in nine starts. Combined, he struck out 82 over 78 innings and walked 27. The right-hander, who turns 22 on Feb. 5, made one start on Nov. 15 for Chinese Taipei in the World Baseball Classic qualifier against New Zealand. He threw 3 2/3 shutout innings, giving up four hits and striking out three in Chinese Taipei’s seven-inning 10-0 win.

Chen pitched in the Cubs Minor League system from 2007-2011. He was on the Chinese Taipei national baseball team in the 2008 World Baseball Classic.

Searle, 23, spent most of the 2012 season with Class A Daytona, and posted a 6-3 record and 4.22 ERA in 32 games (three starts). He also pitched briefly for Double-A Tennessee and appeared in two games with Triple-A Iowa. for the year, he was 8-5 with a 3.87 ERA in 42 games (five starts). In 2011, he pitched for the Australian Baseball League in the Baseball World Cup, and was 3-1 with a 3.66 ERA in five games.

– Carrie Muskat

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