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Perez added to Dominican Republic team

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VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals will soon send another outfielder to the World Baseball Classic, as Eury Perez has been selected to join the Dominican Republic squad.

According to the Dominican team's Twitter account, Perez was added in place of Melky Mesa, who opted to remain in Yankees camp. The announcement came shortly after Perez and the Nationals wrapped up a 6-2 win against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla., on Saturday.

Perez will take batting practice with the club in Viera on Sunday, then leave to join the Dominican team on Monday.

The Nationals are already short an outfielder since Roger Bernadina left last week to play for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but Washington has plenty of depth in the outfield, with Tyler Moore and Corey Brown among those most likely to get more reps in the coming weeks behind Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth.

Perez, 22, made his big league debut last season, getting five plate appearances in 13 games as a September callup. He went 1-for-5 (.200) with three runs and three stolen bases last year. This spring, he is is 7-for-20 (.350) with two stolen bases and five strikeouts in seven Grapefruit League games.

"I tried to get him as ready as good as I could," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He's got more at-bats than anybody. … I think he's done good. He's a good young hitter with talent, good young player. It's all him learning about himself. I think this has been a great experience for him, as was last year. He had a good year in Triple-A, but he's still got a higher ceiling."

The Dominican team opens its World Baseball Classic slate on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET against Venezuela in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a game that can be watched live on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes.

The first round of the pool, which also includes Puerto Rico and Spain, ends March 10. The top two teams will advance to the second round in Miami. That pool would include Team USA, should the Americans advance.

Nationals pitchers Ross Detwiler and Gio Gonzalez are on the Team USA roster, though Gonzalez will only join the squad if it advances to the second round.

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