Carmona, Betancourt Back Out Of WBC
Fausto Carmona
Fausto Carmona
Indians Ink
Posted Feb 12, 2009

Fausto Carmona and Rafael Betancourt will not be participating in the World Baseball Classic. Both right-handers have been removed from their native nation's rosters for next month's tournament. Grady Sizemore, Mark DeRosa, Shin-Soo Choo and Rafael Perez are still planning on playing, while Jhonny Peralta and Masa Kobayashi are not sure. Several Tribe minor-leaguers also may play in the event.

Carmona, who was on the Dominican Republic's provisional roster, and Betancourt, part of Venezuela's early roster, expressed concern that being away from Tribe training camp may not have been wise. The Indians were glad to see them ask to be replaced, citing Betancourt being injured in 2006 after participating in the inaugural WBC.

The reliever pitched in three games for Venezuela then, felt some soreness in his shoulder, then strained a muscle in his upper back two weeks into the season and went on the disabled list.

The Indians want to keep tabs on Carmona this spring since he missed more than two months with a strained left hip last season.

Betancourt told reporters Thursday that he took time to make his decision. He said he enjoyed the experience of playing in the international competition three years ago, but felt it wasn't worth the risk this time.

Peralta said he would like to play for the Dominican Republic, but isn't sure what his status would be on a team that includes Major League All-Stars Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Tejada. He's not keen on going -- and then just sitting on the bench and not getting enough competitive work to get him ready for the season.

Sizemore and DeRosa are on the Team USA roster, Perez with the Dominican Republic and Choo with Korea. Kobayashi is on Japan's provisional roster, but may not be chosen to go to their camp.

Tribe minor-leaguers on provisional rosters include outfielder Cirilo Cumberbatch, catcher Damaso Espino and right-hander Paolo Espino with Panama; right-handers Chen-Chang Lee and Sung-Wei Tseng with Chinese Taipei and outfielder Nick Weglarz of Canada.

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