“Monster” Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) is expected to belatedly join the Japanese baseball team’s training for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). 메이저놀이터
In an interview with the Associated Press and other local media on the 5th (hereinafter referred to as Korean time), Perry Minassian, general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of the US Major League (MLB), his team, said, “Ohtani will travel to Japan for the WBC on March 1 (local time). I am leaving,” he said.
At this time, there is only about a week left in the schedule for the main tournament of the Japanese national team. Japan will play its first match of the first round against China on March 9, and will play the long-awaited match against Korea and Japan on the next day, the 10th. Ohtani, who is highly likely to start as a starter in the Korea-Japan match, does not have much time to coordinate with his teammates.
Ohtani first prepares for the season with his team, the Angels, in the United States. The pitcher team starts spring camp on the 16th and the fielders join them on the 21st. With the demonstration games starting on the 26th, Ohtani is expected to pitch in one of them to adjust his senses for actual combat. Head coach Hideki Kuriyama, who leads the Japanese national team, will have to lead the squad in Miyazaki from the 17th to the 27th without Ohtani, the ‘all-weather ace’.
Ohtani is not the only one. Among other major leaguers such as Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres), Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox), and Lars Nutba (St. Louis Cardinals), Darvish is the only one who can join national team training early after an agreement with the club there is.
The situation for the Korean national team is not much different. Kim Ha-seong (San Diego) and Tommy Edman (St. Louis), who will form a keystone duo, will prepare for the season first with each team before joining the national team training belatedly. However, Japan’s Otani is different in its weight.