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Injured Bianchi a no-go for Team Italy in Classic


PHOENIX -- Brewers infielder Jeff Bianchi has withdrawn from Italy's World Baseball Classic team after experiencing tightness in his left groin.

The 26-year-old, who was to play shortstop for Team Italy, was disappointed by the development. He said he began to feel discomfort after Saturday's game against the Angels.

"Absolutely," Bianchi said. "I was looking forward to it, but it's one of those things that happens. Right now, I'm just treating it and getting it better. I would rather be with these guys and getting my work done here. … You can't stress or dwell over it."

Bianchi was the third Brewer to withdraw from the tournament. Pitcher Nick Bucci was unable to pitch for Canada because of a strained muscle behind his shoulder, and outfielder Carlos Gomez opted not to play for the Dominican Republic after appearing on their provisional roster.

Even with those departures, the Brewers had 12 players active in the tournament as of Tuesday morning, including nine members of their 40-man roster. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo was still somewhat in question for Team Mexico because of the right groin strain that bothered him last week, but Gallardo was scheduled to pitch one inning of Mexico's exhibition against the D-backs as a final test.

"We'll have a trainer over here, [pitching coach] Rick Kranitz is going over to make sure he's OK," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I would think he would be, but just to make sure. Once he throws an inning to see where he is, we'll have a pretty good idea. If he gets through that, I think we're pretty comfortable with his pitching [in the tournament]."

Gallardo's setback -- he has not pitched since Feb. 26, when he felt discomfort in his groin during an outing against the Mariners -- means he will be limited for Mexico. Roenicke said Gallardo would not be stretched out enough to reach the 65-pitch maximum allowed in first-round World Baseball Classic games.

Roenicke was trusting Gallardo to provide an honest assessment after Tuesday's test. Gallardo is in line for his fourth consecutive Opening Day start and by far the Brewers' most established pitcher.

"It's a trust thing, but 'Yo' understands." Roenicke said. "He understands what would happen if it flares up again -- he probably wouldn't be our starting pitcher to start the season."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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