Padres OF Juan Soto (calf) delays WBC arrival

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Soto is still expected to play in the World Baseball Classic despite not yet being cleared to leave the San Diego Padres’ training camp due to lingering tightness in his left calf, according to

While his Dominican Republic teammates — including fellow Padres’ players Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz and Luis Garcia — headed to Miami for the tournament on Monday, Soto remained in Peoria, Ariz., to receive treatment.

With the calf wrapped in athletic tape, Soto stretched before going through some running drills and taking batting practice.

“Right now, it feels good,” the outfielder said. “It’s improving a lot; it feels pretty good. But they want to make sure I’m ready to go.”

Padres manager Bob Melvin appeared cautiously optimistic about Soto’s chances for playing in the WBC.

“The fact that he’s not going today lends a little bit to maybe not. But I’m still confident that he will, and I know that he wants to,” Melvin said. “But if this thing lingers a little bit and he’s not confident running, we’ll see where it goes.”

The injury first came to light Feb. 27 when Soto felt tightness while taking batting practice. He was scratched from that day’s Cactus League game but played last Wednesday and Thursday, going 2-for-3 in both games to raise his OPS to 2.023 in 12 plate appearances this spring.

The Dominican Republic’s first game of the WBC is set for Saturday against Venezuela.

–Field Level Media

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