Japan will present its strongest starting lineup for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) next March.
In Japan, major leaguers Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres) and Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) announced their intention to participate in the WBC early on, and a one-two punch has been decided. Darvish is the San Diego ace who won 16 wins this year, and Ohtani, the American League MVP last year, is the best pitching double-up star in the major leagues.
Japan’s best monster pitchers join the major leagues. Yamamoto Yoshinobu (Orix Buffaloes), who swept first place in the NPB Pacific League for the past two years in terms of most wins, ERA, and strikeouts, will be the third starter. Yamamoto recorded an average ERA of 1.39 with 18 wins and 5 losses last year and 15 wins and 5 losses with a 1.68 ERA this year, and is currently recognized as the best NPB pitcher. He is a fire bowler with a fast ball speed of 159 km/h, and his breaking ball is also sharp.
Here, the former ace also aims to join. Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten Golden Eagles), who played for the New York Yankees until 2020 and has been on the national team four times, said, “I know it’s not easy, but I want to participate. I’ll prepare hard for the off-season.” Tanaka recorded 9-12 with an ERA of 3.31 this season.
NPB career 112-56 ERA 2.47. former major leaguer. Although he is the first starter based on his name alone, it is expected that there will be no place for Tanaka in the Japanese national team as Loki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines), the protagonist of Japan’s youngest perfect game in April this year, will also be included. Sasaki, who has the fastest speed of 164 km and is called the “light-speed pitcher”, has an average ERA of 2.02 with 12 wins and 6 losses in 20 games this year, a further improvement from last year (3 wins, 2 losses, 2.27), his first season in the first team. 메이저놀이터
According to Japanese local media, an editor of a sports magazine said on the 16th, “Tanaka’s fastball restraint is low, so it seems difficult to select the national team. International competitions do not have many opportunities to pitch for relief, so it is difficult to find a place for Tanaka to enter.”
The power of the current WBC Japan team is so strong that it is difficult to guarantee that Tanaka, the “original monster,” who has won double-digit victories for six consecutive years from 2014 to 2019, will also be on the team. The Korean national team, which is making a roster of interest this month and putting their strength together, belongs to Group B of the preliminary round like Japan, so it seems that it will be a difficult fight from the preliminary round.