Former Rockhurst player is with China at World Baseball Classic

Royals pitcher Bruce Chen had hoped to play for China in the World Baseball Classic to honor his family, but he pulled out before the paperwork had been figured out.

But that doesn’t mean there’s not a local connection to Team China.

Ray Chang, a 2005 graduate of Rockhurst University, is with Team China again for the tournament. He also played for China in 2009. Chang, 29, was born in Kansas City, but he is eligible to play for China because both of his parents were born there.

On Sunday, Chang started at shortstop and had a RBI groundout in China’s 5-2 loss to Japan in Pool A. It was China’s first game in the tournament.

China plays Cuba today and then faces Brazil on Tuesday.

Chang signed a minor-league contract with the Reds this offseason after spending two seasons in the Twins organization. Chang also has been in the minor-league affiliates of the Padres, Pirates and Red Sox.