Tigers Pitcher Justin Verlander to Skip World Baseball Classic

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander will skip next month’s World Baseball Classic, leaving the U.S. team without the American League’s top two pitchers.

Verlander, 29, told reporters about his decision at the Major League Baseball team’s spring training camp today in Lakeland, Florida, according to a report on the Tigers’ website.

Verlander was runner-up to Tampa Bay’s David Price in voting for last season’s American League Cy Young Award, given to the league’s best pitcher. He threw 266 2/3 innings last year, including his final start on Oct. 24 in Game 1 of the World Series, and finished the regular season with a 17-8 record and a 2.64 earned-run averaged. Verlander won the Cy Young and the AL’s Most Valuable Player award in 2011.

Price previously said he would skip the tournament. The U.S. team is schedule for opening pool play March 8-10 at Chase Field in Phoenix.

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