Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin withdrew from the World Baseball Classic, according to MLB.com.
Martin had hoped to play shortstop for Team Canada. The Pirates were nervous about their catcher playing in the middle infield and for the tournament.
“They both were uneasy about that and I simply didn’t want to catch,” Martin said. “It’s just too much grind. The catcher’s out there the whole game, and it just takes your body so long to recover from catching 20 innings or so ... I feel sorry for (Team Canada), but sometimes you just have to look out for what’s best for you. You have to make a personal choice. But I’m really sorry for how all this went down.”
Martin, 30, signed a two-year, $17-million contract with the Pirates in the offseason.
During his career, Martin has played some games at second and third base. He played catcher for Canada in the 2009 WBC.