Tigers limit Eduardo Rodriguez to just one appearance for Venezuela at the 2023 World Baseball Classic

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Venezuela drew 3-0 at the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Tuesday, beating Nicaragua in a 4-1 final. Detroit Tigers left-back Eduardo Rodriguez put the Nicaraguans on a run with seven hits over two frames, bending but not breaking before handing the game to the bullpen. The Venezuelans will complete Wednesday’s next pool game against Israel. With a win, they join Japan as the only team to go unbeaten in the first phase of the tournament.

Regardless of whether Venezuela continues their winning streak or not, Eduardo Rodriguez’s tournament seems to be over. Manager Omar Lopez told reporters: including ESPN’s Alden Gonzalezthat the Tigers instructed Rodriguez not to throw this tournament again. Lopez said he intends to ask the Detroit front office for an exception should Venezuela reach the WBC Finals as that would be the next time Rodriguez would be on the court (March 21).

Rodriguez, who turns 30 on April 7, had a memorable first season with the Tigers after signing a five-year, $77 million contract as a free agent. He started just 17 times in 2022 and had a 4.05 ERA (93 ERA+) and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.12 in 91 innings. Rodriguez did not campaign for the Tigers from May 19 to August 21, but left the team to attend to personal matters.

Rodriguez may not be the only Tigers player whose availability for Venezuela will be impacted by Detroit’s front office. ESPN’s Marly Rivera reported Tuesday that Miguel Cabrera may face limited playing time as part of his continued participation in the tournament. (Rivera has since added that a league source has denied the Tigers imposed any restrictions on Cabrera.)

Cabrera’s inclusion in the WBC in any form is notable. As Jorge Castillo from the Los Angeles Times As reported earlier this spring, the Tigers waived compulsory insurance for Cabrera because they knew how much playing the WBC meant to him. The 2023 season will be Cabrera’s final season in the big league. He was Venezuela’s designated batsman in the team’s last two games.

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