HOUSTON -- Astros closer Mark Melancon will be part of a team of Major League Baseball players who will travel to Taiwan this November to play against the Chinese Taipei national team in the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series.
Melancon, acquired by the Astros on July 31, 2010 from the Yankees in the Lance Berkman trade, appeared in 71 games for the Astros last season, going 8-4 with a team-high 20 saves, and a 2.78 ERA. His eight wins were second on the team behind starter Wandy Rodriguez, who had 11.
The Major Leaguers will play five games against the national team between Nov. 1-6.
Others on the roster, which is not yet complete, are infielders Erick Aybar (Angels), Pablo Sandoval (Giants), Robinson Cano (Yankees), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Michael Morse (Nationals), Ryan Roberts (D-backs), Skip Schumaker (Cardinals) and Danny Valencia (Minnesota); outfielders Emilio Bonifacio and Logan Morrison (Marlins); Curtis Granderson (Yankees), catchers Drew Butera (Twins) and Jeff Mathis (Angels) and pitchers Bill Bray (Reds), Ross Detwiler (Nationals), Dillon Gee (Mets), Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles) and Jose Veras (Pirates).
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association will name more players to the team in the coming weeks.
San Francisco's Bruce Bochy, the U.S. skipper for a 2006 All-Star series in Japan, will manage the big league contingent.
The squads are scheduled to play in three different cities -- New Taipei City (Xinzhuang Stadium) on Nov. 1, Taichung (Intercontinental Stadium) on Nov. 3-4 and Kaohsiung (Chengcing Lake Stadium) on Nov. 5-6.
The most recent MLB trip to Taiwan was in March 2010, when the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to the country to play a two-game series against the Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Stars.