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Andy Pettitte left off WBC's Team USA

01/17/2013 4:18 PM ET
By Jon Lane

Andy Pettitte will be entering his 18th season of Major League baseball.(AP)
Team USA announced its 27-man provisional roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic on Thursday. Notable with his presence is New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. Conspicuous by his absence is veteran starting pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Initially believed to be a part of Joe Torre’s roster that will try and break Team Japan’s string of two gold medals in the two previous WBCs, Pettitte instead was left off the team. According to a Thursday morning column from Bob Klapish, tournament eligibility is based upon guaranteed insurance coverage in the event of an injury. Pettitte is 40 years old and missed nearly three months of his 2012 comeback season with a fractured fibula. According to Klapish, insurers “typically shun those older than 38, or ones who suffer from a chronic injury.”

Pettitte falls into the former category and also spent two months on the disabled list in 2010 with a strained groin. And while teams cannot deny a player’s desire to compete in the WBC, considering Pettitte’s recent injury history, advanced age and that he’s pitched 10 months of baseball in two years, the Yankees are probably breathing a sigh of relief that the veteran left-hander will not be reuniting with Torre, his manager in the Bronx from 1996 to 2003 and again in 2007.

Teixeira, meanwhile, will play in his second WBC (2006) after declining an opportunity to play in 2009 shortly after signing with the Yankees as a free agent. He joins New York Mets third baseman David Wright, and former Met/current Toronto Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey, with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, Baltimore Orioles OF Adam Jones and Miami Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton among the notables.

"As soon as I talked to Joe, I called [Yankees hitting coach] Kevin Long and said, 'K-Long, we've got two weeks before I report to the World Baseball Classic. Get me ready,'" Teixeira told MLB Network. "Usually, I'd say we have five weeks, six weeks, to get ready.

"You do your extra work and maybe you're worried more about your body than your swing. This year, let's get a jump start because I want to go out there and really dominate when I put on the uniform for the World Baseball Classic."

Fifteen Major League All-Stars, three Most Valuable Players and one Cy Young Award winner are among the players on Team USA's provisional roster. A final roster must be submitted by February 20.

"Having talked to all of these players I sense a great deal of excitement about representing the United States in the World Baseball Classic," Torre said. "I share their excitement and look forward to managing this talented group in March."

Team USA will play its first game against Mexico on March 8 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and catcher Francisco Cervelli are suiting up for the Dominican Republic and Italy, respectively.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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