SARASOTA, Fla. -- Luis Ayala will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico, and the 35-year-old righty said Tuesday he needs the rest.
"I got to get ready for the season, you know what I mean," said Ayala, who informed Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair of his decision on Monday afternoon. "Everybody wants to represent their country. It was a tough decision for me, because I played winter league but I didn't rest. So at this time in my career ... you don't want to be away, but you have to be away from that, [so] I think I need rest.
"I think it will make my performance [better during the season], to take care of myself at this time. I was so tired, had a lot of fatigue from the winter and Caribbean Series."
Ayala had pitched in the two previous Classics, in 2006 and '09, and he's coming off a Major League season in which he went 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA over 75 innings pitched. He's one of several Orioles who has been brought along slower this spring in an effort to keep them fresh over the 162-game regular season.
"I feel bad for my teammates in Mexico, but they know me," Ayala said. "I'll always represent my team in everything I do. I always love to wear the Mexico jersey, but I said, 'I'm sorry for this time, I can't represent you.'"
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.