Yankees pitcher Tanaka to sit out World Baseball Classic

January 23, 2017 GMT

TOKYO (AP) — New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka says he won’t take part in the World Baseball Classic.

Speaking at his former stadium in northeastern Japan on Monday, Tanaka said “taking various things into consideration, it would be difficult so I will not participate.”

Tanaka went 14-4 last season with a 3.07 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 31 games.

The 28-year-old righthander was a member of the Japanese team that won the 2009 WBC. The 2017 tournament will be played from March 6-22.

So far, the only Japanese player from Major League Baseball who has committed to playing in the WBC is Houston Astros outfielder Norichika Aoki.

Japan, which won the inaugural tournament in 2006, will rely on a team made up of players from Nippon Professional Baseball.