SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles reliever Vidal Nuno has decided not to pitch as a starter for the Mexican team in the World Baseball Classic after manager Buck Showalter expressed concern about him making a dramatic change in his spring preparations.
Nuno, who was acquired from the Dodgers two weeks ago, has been asked to move from the bullpen to Team Mexico's starting rotation because the Mexican team had one of its starters pull out of the tournament. If he had accepted the role, he would have joined former Oriole starting pitchers Miguel Gonzalez and Yovani Gallardo in the rotation.
"We discussed it yesterday, and for me, looking at the big picture ... looking at the whole season, it's not my preference,'' Nuno said Thursday. "What I told them is I'll just go there as a reliever. The way I became a part of the team, they selected me as a reliever. So, I opted out as a starter. It's a privilege that they asked me (to be a starter), but I'm still going as a reliever."
WBC starters are limited to 65 pitches per game and Nuno has made just one appearance so far in the exhibition season.