Luis Castillo to pitch in the WBC? If he depended on Servais…

SAN DIEGO – On more than one occasion this year, louis castillo has expressed his desire to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic with the Dominican team. The right-hander would be a great piece, of course, for the DR team that will be in the strong Group D with the likes of Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

But Mariners manager Scott Servais said Monday at baseball’s Winter Meetings that his preference would be for Castillo not to do it, with an eye to a long regular season and what the manager and his charges expect are multiple rounds of playoffs. . And of course, the DR’s general manager, Nelson Cruz, is someone Servais knows well, having managed the Dominican slugger in Seattle for three seasons.

“I’m talking to the general manager for the WBC. It’s about Nelson Cruz,” Servais said with a smile as he touched on the subject. “I don’t know if there are many managers who want their pitchers to go and throw in the WBC. But the WBC is an event. It is something that generates a lot of interest. The players are very enthusiastic.”

After being traded from the Reds to the Mariners midway through the 2022 season, Castillo signed a five-year, $108 million extension with Seattle. He is coming off 338.0 innings over the past two seasons and at 29 years of age, he has totaled 857.2 innings in a six-season career at the major league level.

Any pitcher looking to start in Classic games would have to be pretty sharp by mid-March, which is a huge expense when you take everything that would come in a full Major League season.

“From a personal standpoint, I don’t want to see any of our pitchers (participate in the WBC), but I understand that some will,” Servais said. “In Luis’s situation, I don’t know if that has been defined. I’ll let (Mariners president of baseball operations) Jerry (Dipoto) and Nelson Cruz figure that out.

“The most important thing is to make sure our guys are healthy and ready to do their thing for Opening Day, and I would love to give Luis Castillo the ball in the first series (of the season) and have him ready for everything, without worrying about nothing before that.”

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Luis Castillo to pitch in the WBC? If he depended on Servais…