The right-hander was honored to be considered, but believed being in Orioles
It's a difficult choice for many who have been invited to participate in the WBC.
Orioles center fielder
Then, there's Johnson, who is coming off the best season for any Orioles closer in team history. Last spring training, Johnson was slowed by lower back stiffness and didn't pitch in a game until March 14. That played a prominent role in his decision to not pitch in the WBC.
"Last year I had a rough spring training and this year I didn't want to have to rush to get ready to pitch in the WBC," Johnson said. "You're asking guys to be getting ready for the first week of March. To me, that wasn't the best option."
Gonzalez, who threw 220 innings last season between winter ball, the minors and major leagues, said he'd love to pitch in the WBC. He skipped winter ball this season to rest. But he wants the Orioles to be OK with it. He said Team Mexico is OK waiting for his decision.
But this spring is also important for Gonzalez as he tries lock up a starting rotation spot.
It's a tough decision. Most players consider representing their country as an honor, but at what price considering it forces players to be in game shape much earlier? The schedule affects pitchers, who build up their pitch count gradually over the spring, the most.