It appears that Albert Pujols will not be representing the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Even though the final rosters are not due until Feb. 20. Pujols was not listed on the Dominican Republic provisional roster, even though there are five roster spots available.
Multiple sources have told MLB.com that Pujols will not participate. The biggest reason may be because of the offseason surgery.
It is believed that if Pujols was to play in the classic he would not be insured under Major League Baseball rules. For him to play in the classic un-insured would be a risk for him and the Angels’ organization. The WBC would most likely not insure Pujols due to their strict guidelines regarding players who have had offseason surgery.
The positive news is that Pujols will have a normal spring training. The Halos will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their first baseman and rookie sensation Mike Trout are not going to be participating in the classic and will head into 2013 fully healthy.
Robert W. Ekberg is a staff writer for SportsOutWest and Los Angeles area-based sports journalist. Follow him on Twitter @Robek24