Martinez backs out of World Baseball Classic
Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez arrived in camp Tuesday morning and said he’s not going to play in the World Baseball Classic. Martinez was going to play for Spain, though he was born in the Dominican Republic.
“I’m not going to play,” he said. “I’m going to stay here and prepare for the season.”
Martinez, claimed off waivers from the Mets a year ago, hit .237 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 118 at-bats last year for Houston, playing in a career-high 41 games. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said earlier this year Martinez would hurt his chances of making the club by playing in the Classic, and Martinez heard the message.
“I just thought about and I figured it would be a lost couple of weeks and I want to make the team here,” he said.
Astros pitcher Chia-Jen Lo was originally scheduled to participate in the Classic as well, but had a change of heart.