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Team USA tells Rays’ pitcher Chris Archer that he isn’t needed

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Thanks. But no thanks.

Pretty much, that was the message delivered to Tampa Bay Rays‘ pitcher Chris Archer, who has been told by the USA Team in the World Baseball Classic that won’t be using him in the semifinals or potentially in the finals.

Archer threw four innings of hitless baseball in his first game, and he has said he was looking forward to pitching again. But the USA team will go in a different direction.

“I don’t know what happened other than maybe they think there’s a better option,” Archer told the Tampa Bay Times. “I don’t disagree, I think everybody there is capable of doing something special. But I was definitely looking forward to pitching.”

Team USA plans to start Nats pitcher Tanner Roark Tuesday, and has Marcus Stroman lined up if it gets to the final Wednesday.

Archer was the starting pitcher in Team USA’s WBC opener March 10 against Colombia, but he has not pitched since in the tournament. The right-hander returned to the Rays this past week and pitched Thursday in a minor league game as part of a plan to keep him on track to potentially pitch again for the U.S.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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