The Japanese baseball team, which is challenging to win the championship in 14 years, has announced some of the national team rosters to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
Japan national team coach Hideki Kuriyama held a press conference in Tokyo, Japan on the 6th and announced a list of 12 players, about half of the national team players to compete in the WBC. The remaining 18 members said they plan to reveal them at the end of this month.
It is no exaggeration to say that he is a candidate for the championship in terms of his name alone.
First, Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who drew the most attention as to whether or not to join, was added to the roster as scheduled. Here, veteran pitcher Yu Darvish (San Diego), who won 95 victories in the big leagues, and outfielder Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), who succeeded in advancing to the major leagues last year, were named.
In addition to Otani and Darvish, there are six pitchers: Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte), Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), Shotai Imanaga (Yokohama), and Shosei Dogo (Yomiuri).
Yasue, along with Seiya Suzuki, became the first Japanese player ever to hit 56 homers: Muneta Murakami (Yakult), Sosuke Genda (Seibu), Shugo Maki 안전놀이터 (Yokohama), Gensuke Kondo (Softbank), Takuya Gai (Softbank) is expected to appear at the WBC.
Immediately after the announcement, coach Hideki Kuriyama expressed his expectations to the players, saying, “I expect that a hero will be born at the WBC,” and “It is clear that it is thanks to this player.”
Ohtani, who was seated together, said, “This is the first WBC for me. I remember watching the game with my heart pounding. So I really want to do well,” he said.
Regarding the eternal rival Korea, which will be faced in the second game, “Korea had good players in every generation. I also remember the 2006 and 2009 WBC Korea-Japan matches. Korean baseball is a team that can play well against any opponent,” he praised.
Korea and Japan belonged together in Group B in the first round of the finals. The match between the two teams will take place in the second round of the group stage, and if there is no major change, Shohei Ohtani, who is called the best pitcher in Japan, will be pitched against Korea. The two teams are considered strong in Group B, which includes Australia, China and the Czech Republic.
The Japanese national team has solidified its position as a baseball powerhouse by winning the first tournament in 2006 and the second tournament in 2009 in a row. However, in the 2013 and 2019 competitions held later, they finished third in a row, and in this competition, which will be held for the first time in four years, the best members will be selected to take revenge.