Contrary to a previous report circulated that Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte would be part of the United States starting rotation at the 2013 World Baseball Classic, it appears Pettitte will not be participating in the international tournament. According to a report by Jon Lane of the YES Network, Team USA announced its 27-man provisional roster and noticeably, Pettitte was not on it.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira will be the lone Yankee on this year's United States squad. Other Yankees slated to represent their countries in the tournament are second baseman Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic) and catcher Francisco Cervelli (Italy), while former Yankees skipper Joe Torre will lead Team USA.
After a late start in training camp last season and a significant leg injury in 2012, it would not be surprising to hear Yankees management breathe a collective sigh of relief that Pettitte is not participating. However, at 40 years old, Record columnist Bob Klapisch states it might not have been a decision left up to Pettitte,
“Tournament eligibility is based upon insurance coverage — meaning, a player’s contract would have to be guaranteed in the event of injury while participating in the WBC. Insurers typically shun those older than 38, or ones who suffer from a chronic injury. In all likelihood Pettitte, over the age-threshold, will be deemed uninsurable, which means the Yankees will eventually be able to exhale.”
Needless to say, with a full slate of spring training now on the horizon and not having to commit to major baseball competition as early as March, Pettitte will be able to ease into the 2013 season.
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