Rays Ace Chris Archer Won’t Rejoin Team USA
Chris Archer tossed four perfect innings for the United States in his first start of the World Baseball Classic, but surprisingly, the right hander will not be available for the championship round.
Archer returned to the Tampa Bay Rays following the first round per the club’s agreement and wast then informed Sunday morning that he will not return to the WBC team.
“The decision was based on Chris’ pitching schedule more than anything,” Team USA spokesman Rob Butcher said in an email to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “Because we can’t guarantee we’ll be playing on March 22, (USA GM) Joe (Torre) suggested that if Chris wanted to stay on his scheduled day, he should remain in Florida rather than fly across the country and then maybe not pitch at all.”
Archer was perfect in four innings during USA’s opener against Colombia on March 10. He was unable to pitch the fifth inning as the United States promised the Rays that Archer would be limited to four innings. He then left the team to rejoin Tampa Bay in order to remain on his pitching schedule that will have him ready for his Opening Day start.
Archer expressed his displeasure with the decision.
“I wanted to pitch there,” Archer told Topkin. “I had planned on it the entire offseason. We have talked about it since February. There were three days I was able to throw.”
The U.S. will instead go with Tanner Roark against Japan, and Marcus Stroman if they should advance to the final.