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Guerra to play for Venezuela in Classic

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Deolis Guerra was a late addition to Team Venezuela and will participate in the World Baseball Classic.

Guerra was informed by Venezuela manager Luis Sojo, who was also his manager in the Venezuelan winter league. Guerra pitched well for Navegantes del Magallanes, posting a 3.81 ERA with 31 strikeouts and five walks in 26 innings to help lead the club to the title.

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"I'm pretty excited," Guerra said. "It'll be the first time I'll be representing my country in a tournament like that. So I'm happy about it."

Guerra, acquired by the Twins in 2008 in the trade that sent Johan Santana to the Mets, has reinvented himself as a reliever after beginning his career as a starter.

He had a 4.11 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 70 innings split between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester last season. He's not on the 40-man roster but could make his Major League debut at some point this season if he continues to build on last year.

"It's been pretty good," Guerra said of making the switch to the bullpen in '11. "It's been a little different. But the thing that is helping me out is that I have to be ready every day and focused on the game. I think that's getting me more into the game, which is helping me a lot."

Guerra is scheduled to leave camp on March 3, as Venezuela is scheduled to play an exhibition game on March 4 in Jupiter, Fla.

Guerra is one of 13 Twins players who will be away from camp to participate in the Classic. Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins (USA), Justin Morneau (Canada) and Drew Butera (Italy) are the only four on the 40-man roster.

Other Twins players scheduled to play in the Classic are James Beresford (Australia), Andrew Albers (Canada), Samuel Deduno (Dominican Republic), Chris Colabello (Italy), Shairon Martis and Tom Stuifbergen (Netherlands), and Jose Berrios and Eddie Rosario (Puerto Rico).

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