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Miguel Rojas withdraws from World Baseball Classic

Dodgers shortstop told reporters Thursday he won’t play for Venezuela

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Rojas’ inclusion on Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic was always tenuous. But it wasn’t his own injury that took him out of the tournament, but rather Gavin Lux’s torn ACL, in a way.

With Rojas now the regular shortstop for the Dodgers —the plan is for Rojas to play 70-75 percent of the time at the position, manager Dave Roberts told reporters in Arizona on Wednesday — he’ll stick around in camp rather than join Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Rojas told reporters on Thursday morning.

Rojas did leave the door open to potentially play for Venezuela should they advance past pool play. The second round for Venezuela’s pool will be played at loanDepot Park in Miami on March 17-18, followed by the semifinal and championship round from March 19-21, also in Miami.

Back at FanFest on February 4, Rojas said the main concern for his participation in the WBC stemmed from right wrist surgery he had in October, followed by another procedure on his right hand to remove a piece of bone in between his thumb and index finger.

“I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there,” Rojas said at FanFest. “But if I’m not feeling 100 percent, I’m not going to go. It’s going to be me deciding with the organization what’s the best thing to do.”

Rojas is the second Dodger to pull out of the World Baseball Classic. Clayton Kershaw withdrew from the tournament on February 17 over reported concerns over insurance given his injury history.

With Rojas and Kershaw out, the Dodgers have seven players on the 40-man roster heading to the WBC — Mookie Betts and Will Smith for Team USA, Julio Urías and Austin Barnes for Mexico, Freddie Freeman for Canada, David Peralta for Venzuela, and Trayce Thompson for Great Britain. In addition, minor league outfielder Jose Ramos will play for Panama, minor league pitcher Liam Doolan will pitch for Australia, and non-roster invitee Adam Kolarek is on the designated pitcher pool for Israel.