PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. A dream of playing in the World Baseball Classic is over for Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta.
On Sunday morning, Peralta said he wont compete in the upcoming event, held March 2-19, because he wants to preserve his health for the regular season. The 36-year-old had been selected to participate for the Dominican Republic in the tournament, held once every four years, but he was uncertain in recent days about his availability to represent his native country.
The Rays want to secure his long-term durability a year after he had a 3.63 ERA in 67 innings pitched, the fourth-most over his eight-year career (he pitched 87.2 with the Kansas City Royals in 2007, 73.2 with the Royals in 2006 and 67.2 with the Rays in 2011). He also sat out the first four days of spring training workouts last week because of a stiff neck.
The main thing is this is probably the only chance that I am going to have to play in the WBC, and Im not going to be able to, Peralta said. I wa...