SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners are expected to lose several players to the World Baseball Classic during spring training as they prepare for a repeat run to the postseason.
Julio Rodriguez, Teoscar Hernandez and reliever Diego Castillo are all expected to play for the Dominican Republic; third baseman Eugenio Suarez with Venezuela; reliever Matt Festa with Italy; reliever Matt Brash with Canada and top prospect Harry Ford with Great Britain.
One name notably missing from the list is starting pitcher Luis Castillo, who was expected to be part of the formidable Dominican staff. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters Wednesday that Castillo has opted not to pitch in the event.
"It's something that we are pleased with that he'll be [at spring training]," Dipoto said. "It's a choice that we made together, and I'm excited to see him from beginning to end."
Seattle is notably antsy about the WBC after losing pitcher Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery after he pitched in the tournament in 2017. Felix Hernandez also pitched in the WBC that year and ended up with two lengthy stints on the injured list due to shoulder troubles.
"It's early in the season and these guys are playing at such a high intensity level when they haven't been doing that for a number of months, so you're always worried about injury," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "You want those guys to be healthy. These are certainly key contributors for us going into the season."
The WBC begins at several sites on March 8, and concludes in Miami on March 21.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.