DENVER -- All-Star left fielder Carlos Gonzalez and catcher Ramon Hernandez of Venezuela are the only Rockies Major Leaguers whose names were on one of the provisional rosters for the 2013 World Baseball Classic announced Thursday.The only other member of the Rockies' organization who is on a roster for the tournament, which is being conducted during Spring Training, is Australian outfielder David Kandilas, who played last season with Class A Asheville. Almost as noteworthy as the inclusions of Gonzalez and Hernandez were the absences of Rockies whose names had been mentioned as possible players for their countries. However, standout shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (United States) and pitchers Jhoulys Chacin (Venezuela) and Jorge De La Rosa (Mexico) all were not included, but there was good reason.
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Under 2013 Classic rules, players who were on the disabled list for at least 60 days last season are among those that were ineligible going into the process. Tulowitzki, Chacin and De La Rosa all fell under that rule. In addition, players who underwent surgery or were recommended for surgery in 2012 were classified the same way. Tulowitzki underwent surgery in June to remove scar tissue from his left groin. And Tulowitzki and De La Rosa fell under a rule disqualifying players who were on the disabled list on the last day of August.For such players to participate, they would have had to have been cleared by a committee that would recommend whether the Classic would insure the contract. Then the Rockies' team doctors would have had to clear the players to participate. Tulowitzki is a two-time All-Star and Chacin and De La Rosa are expected to be key members of the starting rotation. The two Major Leaguers who are participating in the World Baseball Classic didn't finish the 2012 season totally healthy. Gonzalez wasn't officially injured at the end of last season but slowed his participation because of hamstring soreness, but his inclusion on the Venezuelan team was no surprise. He and the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera were in a recent commercial promoting the Venezuelan club, and Gonzalez has been used heavily in promotional materials during the winter. Last season, Gonzalez played in 135 games and hit .303 with 22 home runs and 85 RBIs. Hernandez missed 42 games in the middle of the season with a left hand strain. He also didn't play after Sept. 10 because of surgery to repair a left leg problem. However, Hernandez did play for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League in nine games, and went 8-for-32 with a double and four RBIs.. Venezuela's provisional roster has two other catchers, the D-backs' Miguel Montero and the Royals' Salvador Perez. Australia's Kandilas, 22, batted .266 with four homers and 49 RBIs in 83 games at Asheville last season. Several Rockies had been mentioned as possibly being included on rosters. Catcher Wilin Rosario, who set a Rockies rookie record with 28 home runs in 2012, tweeted this week that he did not expect to play for the Dominican Republic, although early speculation had him as a 2013 Classic participant. Not going will give Rosario, who is still establishing himself as a Major League catcher, more Spring Training time with a young pitching staff and more time with new Rockies manager Walt Weiss. The Dominican roster included just one catcher, the Indians' Carlos Santana. Veteran Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt declined to participate for Venezuela. Betancourt did participate in 2006 while with the Indians, but pitched little in the tournament and suffered an injury during the season. He has not pitched in the event since. Center fielder Dexter Fowler had expressed interest in playing for Team USA but was not picked.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.