Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano has pulled out of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, according to Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell.
Jordan Romano had been set to play for Team Italy in this year’s World Baseball Classic. Instead, it appears that the Blue Jays’ star will spend all of spring training with Toronto.
Jordan Romano was also recently approached by the Canadian team about playing for Canada in the WBC, and declined as well.
Italy is playing out of Pool A in Taiwan. https://t.co/589UdSs9iW
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 4, 2023
Romano had multiple options for the World Baseball Classic. A native of Markham, Ontario, the Blue Jays reliever was asked by Team Canada to represent it in the upcoming tournament.
In March 2022, Romano announced that he would be part of Italy’s 2023 WBC roster. Romano competed for Italy in the 2017 WBC. The Blue Jays pitcher chose Italy, where his father was born, over his native country because the team gave him a chance a half-decade ago.
“I wanted to pitch for Canada in 2017 but they didn’t have a spot for me and I was in low-A at the time,” Romano said via Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae. “Italy asked, and I had a great experience. They gave me a shot and I want to be loyal to them,”
Losing Romano could be a significant blow for Italy. Romano made the 2022 AL All-Star team and has developed into one of MLB’s best relief pitchers. The 29-year-old has posted nearly identical numbers in each of the last seasons. Roman had a 2.11 and 2.14 ERA in 2021 and 2022, respectively, to go along with a 1.05 and 1.02 WHIP.
Romano has 59 saves in the last two seasons. He set the record for most consecutive saves by a Blue Jays pitcher.
In the 2017 WBC, Romano was the only pitcher on Team Italy to register a win.