Oakland A’s pitcher Sonny Gray has been pulled from next month’s World Baseball Classic due to an oddly specific clause from the tournament’s insurance carrier.
Gray missed much of last year strained trapezius and a strained forearm, though he’s now healthy and announced earlier this winter that he would play for the U.S. in the WBC. Now, less than two weeks before the start of the tournament, he’s been informed that he will not be allowed to participate because he was on the disabled list last August and did not play at any point after that, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The A’s tried to get the insurance carrier to grant an exception to its policy for Gray, general manager David Forst told the paper. But it didn’t work, and so Gray became the second player forced to withdraw from the tournament for insurance reasons—joining Russell Martin of the Blue Jays, who had to pull out from Team Canada.
Gray was only ever meant to be part of the “designated pitcher pool,” which allows teams to swap out pitchers between rounds, rather than the roster itself. But it’s still not great news for an American starting rotation that wasn’t especially strong to begin with and lost its would-be ace last month, when Max Scherzer withdrew from the tournament due to a fractured finger.