One of the biggest star in Japan and the winning pitcher of 2009 WBC Championship game against Korea, Yu Darvish decided to skip 2013 World Baseball Classic.
(Photo via eric.langhorst, CC License)
In his MLB rookie season, Darvish made a career high 29 regular-season starts for the Texas Rangers, but his 191 inning is not, he did average 217 innings in 2010 and 2011 in Japan. Overall, he got 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 221 strikeouts in 2012 and he was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings in the 2009 WBC.
Below is his full statement:
After much deliberation, which has included a lot of consultation with my coaches and trainers, I have decided that I will not play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. This was a very difficult decision for me as it is always a tremendous honor to represent my native country of Japan. I greatly enjoyed being a part of the 2009 Championship ballclub and I will be supporting this year’s team as they look to defend their title. There are many very talented players in Japan and I am confident this team will uphold Japan’s great tradition in this event.
Given my substantial workload over the last few seasons and the numerous changes I’ve endured in my move to the United States, I have decided with my team of advisors that getting ample rest is the most important thing for me right now as I prepare for the 2013 season. My ultimate goal is to help win a World Series with the Texas Rangers and to share that accomplishment with the great baseball fans in Japan. I look forward to next season and am excited about our chances of winning.
I thank everyone for their understanding with my decision.”
Rangers also released a statement:
Yu has informed the Rangers of his plans regarding the 2013 World Baseball Classic. We support what had to be a very difficult decision for him to make. He made an outstanding transition in his first year in Major League Baseball and we look forward to another strong season from him in 2013.”
It will be a big loss for Japan being without Darvish this spring, but the team should still be one of the favorites to take the WBC.