Gray will not play for Team USA in World Baseball Classic

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Sonny Gray. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY
Sonny Gray. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY /
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A few weeks ago A’s ace Sonny Gray announced that he was going to pitch for Team USA in this year’s World Baseball Classic.

It was a decision that was questioned here on White Cleat Beat due to the poor season that Gray had with the Oakland Athletics in 2016, especially when it is compared with the season he had in 2015.

Gray went from being the A’s ace, finishing third in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2015 to spending two separate stints on the disabled list in 2016 while posting a 5.69 ERA on the year.

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Sunday it was announced by A’s general manager David Forst that Gray will not be playing in this year’s World Baseball Classic. He was denied the insurance coverage needed to participate in the event.

Apparently the company that insures players felt that Gray was too much of a risk after he pitched fewer than ten innings after the month of August last season.

Gray was placed on the DL with a forearm strain in early August.

He returned to the team on September 28 to pitch just one inning against the Los Angeles Angels. He allowed one hit while striking out one batter.

Supposedly healthy this spring, Gray signed on to pitch for Team USA after Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer had to pull out of the event due to a minor finger injury.

Oakland Athletics
Jul 26, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Forst told reporters that Gray “feels great” and is “bummed” by the insurance company’s decision.

Major League Baseball pushed for an exception to be made for Gray but even their pleas were ignored.

Gray is not the first player to be denied coverage for this year’s WBC event, according to ESPN.

Toronto Blue Jays’ catcher Russell Martin was denied to play for Team Canada due to having had arthroscopic knee surgery back in November.

Next: A's lose spring opener to Cubs

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