Bronx Bombers General Manager Brian Cashman informed Newsday this weekend that OF Hideki Matsui will not play in the World Baseball Classic this March due to the rehab from his knee surgery. Matsui, 34, had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair ligament damage late in the season. Although Joe Girardi said earlier this week that he was pleased with how fast Matsui’s recovery was progressing, apparently it is not fast enough to be a part of the WBC. Matsui also missed the 2006 Inaugural WBC.
Meanwhile, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon hope to play for the USA. Jeter and Rodriguez played for the USA in 2006. Robinson Cano hopes to be selected for the Dominican Republic team; he was not selected for the ’06 team. Mariano Rivera is considered unlikely to pitch for the Panama team as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder. Jorge Posada has been ruled out of playing for Puerto Rico as he also rehabs from shoulder surgery. Posada will likely be replaced on the Puerto Rico squad by the same player who replaced him on the Yankees last season – Ivan Rodriguez.