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Medlen withdraws from World Baseball Classic

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Braves right-hander Kris Medlen announced Friday he has decided to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic, citing the impending birth of his first child.

Medlen revealed his intentions during a stop on the Braves Country Caravan. At a question-and-answer session with Triple-A Gwinnett season-ticket holders, Medlen was asked how he was preparing to be a starting pitcher for the tournament, which begins in March.

Medlen said he had told Team USA manager Joe Torre that he had changed his mind and couldn't play. His announcement was met with applause from the fans in attendance.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who had been informed of the decision Thursday, said he thought Medlen was making a good choice.

"You only get to have your first baby once," Gonzalez told the audience.

Medlen had a breakout season last year for the Braves. After moving from the bullpen to the rotation at the end of July, Medlen went 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA. He is expected to be a key member of the Braves' rotation again this season.

United States, Atlanta Braves, Kris Medlen