MIAMI – It’s the risk of the World Baseball Classic.
And with the Detroit Tigers sending so many players to this year’s tournament – 15 from the organization in total – they were going to be at more risk of an injury than most teams.
The team appeared to catch a break late in this afternoon’s Pool D matchup against Italy in Guadalajara, Mexico, closer Francisco Rodriguez appeared to hurt himself on a relay throw to home plate.
According to the New York Times’ James Wagner, Venezuela manager Omar Vizquel – the Tigers’ first base coach – said Rodriguez pulled his groin and the injury could potentially be just a cramp.
According to Venezuelan baseball reporter Augusto Cardenas, Rodriguez spoke after the game, smiling and saying, “I feel good. All is well, all is well.”
On the play, Rodriguez fielded a throw from shortstop Alcides Escobar in the middle of the diamond, threw to catcher Salvador Perez and fell to the field in pain.
Perez – the Royals catcher – was also injured on the play when Drew Butera – his backup – stumbled into his knee.
Rodriguez blew the save in Venezuela’s 11-10 win, throwing 26 pitches over 1 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on three hits and walked one.
Tigers teammates Miguel Cabrera (1-for-5, RBI) and Victor Martinez (1-for-3, strikeout) also played for Venezuela.