After he played catch this week, Eric Gagne, Closer of Los Angeles Dodgers is feeling good and plans to participate in the 2006 World Baseball Classic for Canada next March.
Due to elbow injury, Gagne who did not play since June 13 and original expected to require second Tommy John surgery, but gteam physicians Frank Jobe and Ralph Gambardella found that he only sprained the ulnar collateral ligament and Gagne recover quickly.
Gagne has begun a light tossing program, said “I haven’t felt this good in a long time,”
Gagne likes the idea of competing for Team Canada while preparing for the regular season. “We’re going to have a decent team,” Gagne said. “There are not a lot of big names, but there are a lot of good guys in the minor leagues.”
“It’s a chance for me to get healthy for the season, and it’s just great competition,” said Gagne. “I played three years with the national team, so it’s just special. It’s a different atmosphere. You don’t want to get hurt, but at the same time it’s a fun event and you have a chance to represent your country and beat up on everybody else’s country.”
However, for Dodgers General Manager Paul DePodesta and Manager Jim Tracy, they did not feel the same passion as Gagne.
“If it were up to me, rehab-wise and medically he’d have to be completely clean,” Tracy said. “I think we have a lot of other issues between now and then,” DePodesta said. “I certainly hope he will be (physically) ready for it, and we expect that he will be.”
For a team that could play an infield include South Korean first baseman, American second baseman, Mexican shortstop and Dominican third baseman, Dodgers definitely will been asked several representative in the WBC 2006.
Although MLB Team can not reject a player who wants to play in WBC, but each team can only eligible a maximum of nine players, and health issue could also concern.
“We don’t know who people are going to want from our club, and what that’s going to mean and what their status is going to be at that point in the year,” DePodesta said.