Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen is coming off a huge season in which he established himself as a full-fledged superstar. The next logical step would be for Cutch to be one of the centerpieces of Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
According to Kevin Kaduk, Editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo! Sports, McCutchen has declined an invitation to participate in the WBC.
Andrew McCutchen has declined an invitation to play for the U.S. team in this year’s World Baseball Classic.
— ‘Duk(@KevinKaduk) January 10, 2013
That’s not the worst thing in the world for Pirates fans.
Sure it would be nice to see the Pirates represented well in the WBC – other than Jason Grilli pitching for Italy – but having a full uninterrupted spring training will likely be more valuable than participating in the WBC.
We have seen in the past that it takes guys a while to catch up after missing some of spring training, especially pitchers, whose arms aren’t nearly ready for that at that time of the year.
In the case of Cutch, his main obligation is to the Pirates and leading this team to its first winning season in two decades. Being in spring training is more valuable to the team’s success than going off and playing in the WBC and I believe McCutchen understands that.