It’s not unusual for some baseball people to blame the World Baseball Classic for everything from player injuries in February to global warming. Chris Perez is not one of them.
The Indians’ closer was scheduled — along with bullpen-mate Vinnie Pestano — to pitch for Team USA in the first round of the WBC tournament that begins this week in downtown Phoenix.
Pestano will now have to go it alone, because Perez has been shut down with a strained right subscapularis (shoulder muscle) for at least three or four weeks. But Perez rejects any inference that the injury was a consequence of rushing his preparation so he would be ready to pitch for Team USA.
Asked how his offseason routine varied from the norm, Perez said Saturday, “I just started earlier. My throwing program wasn’t much different. You try to limit your exposure to injuries but … ”
In the end, Perez concluded that the only sure way to do that “is by not pitching.”
A pedestrian might get hit by a car crossing the street, but if he needs to get on the other side, he has to take the risk.
Perez was looking forward to pitching in the WBC, which is by invitation only. But once he knew his injury was real — even before he received the MRI report — he told manager Terry Francona that he would bypass the event.
“To this point in my career, that’s the best honor I’ve had,” Perez said. “I was looking forward to seeing some of the teammates I played with before and hanging out with them and obviously pitching for the country. I liked our team. I think we had a good chance to win and still do.
Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez hopes to be back for Opening Day but won’t rush
Akron Beacon Journal | Mar 3