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Source: Cueto may not pitch for DR in WBC '17

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto will not pitch for the Dominican Republic in the first round of the World Baseball Classic, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on Thursday.

"I heard discussion of that," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who would not elaborate.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto will not pitch for the Dominican Republic in the first round of the World Baseball Classic, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on Thursday.

"I heard discussion of that," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who would not elaborate.

Additionally, Cueto's status for the later rounds of the Classic remains unknown. Cueto conceivably could skip the first round and pitch afterward. However, Bochy said, "I'd like to talk to Johnny to really find out what he's going to do."

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

Giants general manager Bobby Evans said Cueto has made travel arrangements for him and his father to arrive in Scottsdale sometime Friday. Cueto has remained absent from Spring Training since pitchers reported to camp Feb. 13. He has been caring for his 71-year-old father, who has struggled with chronic health issues.

San Francisco's status as contenders in the National League West is directly linked to Cueto's effectiveness. He was the club's winningest pitcher last year, finishing 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and earning the assignment as the NL's starter in the All-Star Game.

Cueto, who can opt out of his six-year, $130 million contract after this season, has kept his arm limber by throwing off a mound and pitching live batting practice at the Giants' Dominican baseball academy at Boca Chica.

Bochy felt certain Cueto will have sufficient time to prepare for his first regular-season start, which likely would be April 4 at Arizona.

"That'll be no problem," Bochy said. "Especially the way he's been throwing."

Cueto's last appearance in the Classic for Team Dominican Republic came in 2009, when he earned a win after throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts against Panama.

The World Baseball Classic runs from Monday through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. Internationally, the tournament will be distributed across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Dominican Republic, Johnny Cueto