Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez pulled out of the World Baseball Classic today, and is on his way back to the Red Sox from the Venezuelan camp in Clearwater, Fla.
Gonzalez, who starred for Venezuela in the Caribbean World Series a few weeks ago, was slated to play for his home country in the WBC as well. The Red Sox don’t have any details as to why Gonzalez chose to pull out, but the prevailing thought is that it was because he wouldn’t get enough playing time. Carlos Guillen and Omar Vizquel are also on the Venezuelan team.
Gonzalez, who is expected to be the Red Sox starting shortstop, spent the winter playing the role of hero for Venezuela in the Caribbean World Series, where he hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to win one game, and drove in the tying run and scored the winning run in the championship game vs. the Dominican Republic. He hit .409 in the series, this coming after he recovered from elbow surgery that cut short his season with the Florida Marlins.
Gonzalez is the second member of the Red Sox to pull out of the WBC since spring training began. Manny Ramirez did so as well.