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Verlander passes on playing in WBC

AFP-JIJI

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander has turned down an offer to join the U.S. team at next month’s World Baseball Classic he said on Monday.

Verlander, the American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner in 2011, said he didn’t feel his arm would be ready for competition in early March when the U.S. team begins play.

“I don’t want to have to feel rushed to catch up to where I need to be,” Verlander said.

Verlander threw 266 innings last season, including a playoff run that saw the Tigers reach the World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants.

That heavy workload prompted Verlander to delay the start of his off-season arm training in order to allow for proper rest.