Gallardo's groin could limit availability for WBC
PHOENIX (AP) — One of the biggest concerns that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has about letting so many of his players head to the World Baseball Classic is the possibility of an injury.
Turns out an injury could keep one of them from participating at all.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who is expected to anchor Mexico's starting rotation, strained a groin Tuesday against Seattle, putting his availability for the tournament in question.
"We're going to be cautious with him," Roenicke said before Saturday's spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels. "We're making sure he's 100 percent before he goes."
Gallardo was scratched from a scheduled appearance Sunday against the Cubs and will instead throw a bullpen session for the Brewers. If that goes well, Roenicke said Gallardo will return from a series of meetings with Mexico to pitch in an exhibition game for Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Milwaukee would then make a decision about whether to release him to play in the WBC.
"He's going to go," Roenicke said, "but he'll come back and pitch an inning for us. He'll go over probably for the meeting, a practice, and come back and pitch for us Tuesday."
The former All-Star worked two scoreless innings against the Mariners in his first start of the spring, but he allowed a single and then back-to-back homers in the third.
He rebounded to strike out Michael Morse before leaving after 45 pitches.
"For myself, I look at it as a positive," Gallardo said of the WBC in a recent interview. "To go out there and compete again in these games gives me a chance to prepare and get ready for the season. I've never been a part of something like that so it will be interesting to see."
Gallardo went 16-9 with a 3.66 ERA last season.
Roenicke said that outfielder Ryan Braun was sporting a bruise after fouling a pitch off his left knee Thursday, but that he doesn't believe the issue is serious and it should not affect his availability for the U.S. as it begins exhibition games next week.
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