The San Diego Padres probably just took a big exhale because one of their starting pitchers, Nick Martinez, has decided to sit out the 2023 World Baseball Classic after previously committing to be a reliever for Team USA.
Nick Martinez has opted out of pitching in the WBC. Martinez, who pitched in the Olympics, described it as a tough decision but felt it would be unfair to his teammates if he risks opening the season not fully built up as a starter. Team USA had him on the roster as a reliever.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) January 23, 2023
It seems like Martinez has always been a team guy and so this isn’t that surprising. The 32-year-old was mostly pitching out of the bullpen in 2022 but signed a contract this offseason with San Diego to be a starting pitcher (at least to start the year).
He would’ve went into Spring Training ramping up to a starter’s workload just to go back to being a reliever for a couple weeks before having to ramp back up again. That could’ve been problematic for both Martinez and the Padres.
The bottom line is him being healthy for the Padres is more important than him pitching for Team USA. I know he wanted to represent his country but he’s been fortunate enough to already do so in the Olympics (2021). Now his sights are set on winning the World Series.