UPDATE (Wednesday, 4:20 p.m. ET): Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell clarified to reporters Wednesday following his team’s spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays that the organization decided pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez would not join Team Venezuela for the next round of the World Baseball Classic.
It previously was believed that Rodriguez turned down the invitation.
ORIGINAL STORY: Eduardo Rodriguez received an invitation to the party, but the Boston Red Sox pitcher RSVP’d “no.”
Rodriguez, who originally planned to participate in this year’s World Baseball Classic before tweaking his knee during winter ball, was asked by Team Venezuela to join the club for the next round in San Diego, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. The left-hander turned down the offer, though, and he’ll instead remain in Red Sox camp as he continues to prepare for the 2017 Major League Baseball season.
“They requested and he denied,” Farrell told reporters Wednesday, per WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. “He decided to stay here. Given all he has come off this winter, the treatment he currently goes through. He’s decided to stay here.”
Venezuela joined Puerto Rico in advancing from Pool D, and the two teams now will join the United States and the Dominican Republic in Pool F. Venezuela’s first test will come Wednesday night against the U.S., with Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez scheduled to start for Rodriguez’s home country.
Venezuela could use Rodriguez, who turns 24 next month, as the club has had trouble keeping opposing offenses at bay through four tournament games. He’s evidently focused on the MLB season, though, which is good news for the Red Sox, who need him even more now that David Price is expected to start the year on the disabled list.
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