Jose Leclerc, the likely closer for the Texas Rangers this season, will not participate in the World Baseball Classic because of neck discomfort, manager Bruce Bochy told reporters Thursday.
Leclerc was slated to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the WBC.
“He just has that little thing going on with the neck,” Bochy told reporters. “We don’t think it would be wise to send him if he’s not 100 percent. He understands. He wanted to represent his country. But he also understands this is where he works and that we need him.”
Leclerc, who returned from Tommy John surgery in June after missing most of the 2020 season and all of the 2021 season, was 0-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 7 saves in 2022.
The World Baseball Classic starts Tuesday, and the Dominican Republic’s first game is March 11 against Venezuela.