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Garcia confirms he won't pitch in Classic

MLB.com @mlbbowman

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jaime Garcia called Braves general manager John Coppolella on Thursday to confirm that he has decided not to pitch for Team Mexico during the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

After completing his first Grapefruit League season start on Wednesday night against the Yankees, Garcia said he'd wait until Thursday to make his decision. But around the same time he said this to a small group of reporters, ESPN Deportes published a story that quoted him as saying he had decided not to pitch after discussing his situation with the Braves.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jaime Garcia called Braves general manager John Coppolella on Thursday to confirm that he has decided not to pitch for Team Mexico during the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

After completing his first Grapefruit League season start on Wednesday night against the Yankees, Garcia said he'd wait until Thursday to make his decision. But around the same time he said this to a small group of reporters, ESPN Deportes published a story that quoted him as saying he had decided not to pitch after discussing his situation with the Braves.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

Coppolella said the Braves did not attempt to dissuade Garcia, who had to weigh the opportunity to pitch for his native country against the fact that he has been an injury-riddled pitcher who is preparing to enter the final year of his contract.

"We fully support the [Classic] and are among the clubs sending the most participants to this event," Coppolella said. "The decision of whether or not to participate is completely up to Jaime, and we told him whatever he decided that we would support him. Obviously, given his injury history and the fact that he is brand new to the Braves after having spent his entire career with the Cardinals, it's great for us that he chose to remain with our club -- as did many other pitchers who have significantly less injury history and significantly more familiarity with their current club."

When the Braves acquired Garcia from the Cardinals in December, the obvious concern was his health history. The 30-year-old southpaw has made more than 20 starts just three times since 2010 and once over the past five seasons.

After returning from shoulder surgery during the 2015 season, Garcia posted a 2.43 ERA over 20 starts. He then made 30 starts last year, but faded down the stretch, producing a 8.57 ERA over his final seven starts.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Jaime Garcia