Red Sox All-Star Explains World Baseball Classic Decision
Spring Training is already underway as pitchers and catchers who are playing in the World Baseball Classic next month have already begun reporting to camp. Some players have had to opt out of the WBC, however, due to injuries, team commitments or other unforeseen circumstances.
New Boston Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen has decided to forego the early rounds of the tournament and gave an interesting explanation for his decision.
Kenley Jansen News
Jansen, 35, was originally expected to pitch for Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, but he is opting out of the early rounds to get used to MLB's new pitch clock.
Among the many new rules going into effect for the 2023 season, pitchers now have 15 seconds to deliver a pitch to home plate with nobody on base and 20 seconds when there are runners on. Jansen is one of the slowest pitchers in the game, so this is expected to have a significant effect on the three-time All-Star, who has already spent 13 years in the big leagues operating under the old rules.
Accordingly, Jansen will spend the early part of Spring Training focused on speeding up his delivery and working faster on the mound. This adjustment will likely take some time, which is why he's decided to skip the beginning of the WBC.
The Red Sox are hopeful that Jansen will be able to make a smooth transition to the new guidelines after signing him to a two-year, $32 million contract in the offseason.