Five major leaguers will join the Japanese national team for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March.
Japanese coach Hideki Kuriyama (61) held a press conference in Tokyo today (26th) and announced the final list of 30 WBC national teams. After the 12 players were first revealed on the 6th, the rest of the list was confirmed.
There were four major leaguers in the previously announced roster, but Boston outfielder Masataka Yoshida added an additional number to five. Yoshida signed a big five-year, $90 million contract with Boston and is set to make his big-league debut.
On the list announced earlier on the 6th, there were four major leaguers: Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels, pitcher and hitter), Yu Darvish (San Diego, pitcher), Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs, outfielder), and Lars Nuthba (St. Louis, outfielder).
However, major leaguers may be added after the quarterfinals. In an interview with Japan’s Sports Hochi, coach Kuriyama said, “According to WBC rules, we are considering replacing pitcher Senga Kodai (New York Mets), who is scheduled to make his major league debut this season, with an existing player.”
What is notable is that three out of five outfielders of the Japanese national team are major leaguers. In a situation where it is uncertain whether major league players will join the national team’s training camp in February, Japan may have to train without forming a proper outfield. Also, some point out that there is no professional center fielder on the outfield list. 온라인바카라
■ Generation change in a year and a half? 10 athletes who have participated in the Tokyo Olympics
At the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021, Japan won the long-awaited baseball gold medal. Although they achieved remarkable results, not many players went on board to the WBC national team.
A total of 10 athletes were selected as national representatives for both the Tokyo Olympics and this WBC. Many veterans have left, and many young players have joined. 20-year-old Hiroto Takahashi (Chunichi, pitcher) and 21-year-old Roki Sasaki (Lotte, pitcher) stand out.
In the Japanese media, there was also an evaluation that a generational change was achieved in a year and a half after the Tokyo Olympics. However, Seiji Uchikawa, who participated in the WBC three times, pointed out that there is no leader like Ichiro in the Japanese national team.
In addition, veteran Hayato Sakamoto (Yomiuri), who was the main shortstop for the Japanese national team such as the 2013 WBC tournament, was not included in this list. Born in 1988, he is not young, but analysis is coming out that his morality, such as the recent sexual scandal with a woman, has been holding him back rather than his age.