Who will be the Japanese starting pitcher that the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Korean national team will face against Japan in the second match of the first round of the tournament on March 10th?
While prospects differ by Japanese media, the sports newspaper Nikkan Sports predicted on the 29th that Yu Darvish (San Diego) would be on the starting mound for the Korean War.
The newspaper shed light on the four starters to appear in the first round of the tournament, predicting that Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) would start in the match against China on March 9, the first match of the tournament, and Darvish would take over the baton in the match against Korea on the 10th. Also, Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte) against the Czech Republic on the 11th and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix) against Australia on the 12th are expected to start as starting pitchers. 안전놀이터
The newspaper also reported that Shota Imanaga (Yokohama), Shosei Dogo (Yomiuri), Hiroto Takahashi (Chunichi), Keiji Takahashi (Yakult), and Hiroya Miyagi (Orix) were long relief players due to the limit on the number of pitches per round (65 pitches). expected to wait.
This is a rotation considering the schedule after the quarterfinals and semifinals. In this case, both Ohtani and Darvish can take a break for more than five days after their first appearance and go to the quarterfinals scheduled for the 16th. This is why both Ohtani and Darvish can pitch as starters for the Korean War. On the 18th, through the Japanese sports newspaper ‘Sports Nippon’, Ohtani was mentioned as a starting pitcher for the Korean War, but this is also the result of reverse calculation of the appearance in the quarterfinals.
After the semi-finals, the positions of both Ohtani and Darvish may become unclear. Darvish pitched in a total of five games in the WBC in 2009, took the mound twice as a starter and contributed three times as a relief pitcher to Japan’s championship victory.
However, it is certain that major leaguers such as Darvish or Ohtani will start in the first round of the Korean match, even considering the overall schedule of the tournament.