Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez will not play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, according to MLB.com.
The 27-year-old reportedly told the Brewers of his decision Monday, choosing to stay in Milwaukees camp to focus on the upcoming season, the final one on his current contract.Gomez, who has a close relationship with Dominican Republic manager Tony Pena and general manager Moises Alou, was slated to start in centerfield for his home country.
At Brewers On Deck in Milwaukee in late January, Gomez said he had been in constant contact with Alou about playing for the Dominican Republic.
"It means a lot for everybody," Gomez said at Brewers On Deck. "If you represent your country, they are proud. It means a lot for me and my family. It also means a lot to all the kids and people from where you come from; they are proud of you. You are their hero."
In the end, preparing for his contract year won out. Looking to build on a year in which he hit a career-best .260 with a career-high 19 home runs and 51 RBI to go along with a career-high 37 stolen bases, Gomez is placing a lot of importance on his follow-up act.
Gomez is the second member of the Brewers organization to drop out of the World Baseball Classic in the past two days.
Pitching prospect Nick Bucci dropped off Canadas roster Sunday due to a lingering shoulder issue. After missing significant time with a shoulder injury in 2012, Bucci has been shut down from throwing for the time being.
Without Gomez and Bucci participating, Milwaukee is down to 13 players participating in the World Baseball Classic.
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