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WBC unlikely to affect White Sox rotation

Published: Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 10:26 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 10:27 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — The White Sox's rotation likely won't be disrupted this spring by the World Baseball Classic.

That's because prized left-hander Chris Sale has declined an invitation to pitch for the United States.

"I want to save my innings for the season," Sale wrote in a text message.

Left-hander Hector Santiago, who could play a valuable role if John Danks isn't ready by opening day, appears to be leaning against pitching in the first-round for Puerto Rico on March 7-10.

"I haven't made an official decision yet," said Santiago, adding that he has spoken to Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez about a potential role as a starting pitcher. "It would be an honor to pitch for Puerto Rico. If they want me to start, I might do it. But I haven't spoken to (Sox general manager Rick Hahn), and it might not be the right time to leave the White Sox. I haven't faced hitters in a month, and I would be pushing it for the first week (of spring training) before leaving.''

Santiago said he accomplished his goal of polishing his slider and off-speed pitches in his five starts for Carolina of the Puerto Rican Winter League last month, and he has continued to throw up to 50-pitch bullpen sessions.

Andre Rienzo, a long shot to make the opening-day roster, will pitch for Brazil in the first-round in Japan on March 2-6.

Extra innings: According to published reports, reliever Ramon Troncoso lost several teeth after getting hit by a line drive in a Dominican Winter League playoff game. Troncoso, who had a 3.92 ERA with the Dodgers from 2008-11, is expected to be ready for spring training. ... Pitcher Mitch Mustain, who was signed to a minor league contract last winter after playing quarterback at Arkansas and USC, was released.

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