Tag Archive: World Baseball Classic

[2/11/2017] Samurai Japan New and Notes

News and notes from February 10 and 11.

  • Takahiro Norimoto could get the start against Cuba on March 7, then pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the tournament. Source: Sponichi 2/11/2017, Sanspo 2/11/2017 … Or, the start against Cuba could go to either Ayumu Ishikawa or Shota Takeda, with Norimoto in the bullpen. Depending on how things go, he could then get a start on March 11 (tiebreaker game, if necessary) or March 12 (first game of the second round). Source: Nikkan Sports 2/11/2017
  • Yuki Matsui could be used in the seventh, eighth, or ninth innings. Source: Sponichi 2/11/2017
  • Tetsuto Yamada could be used as a designated hitter to make room for Ryosuke Kikuchi at second. Norichika Aoki, Yamada, and Kikuchi will most likely be used at the top of the order. If Yamada and Kikuchi both make the starting line-up, they could be split up in the order. Kikuchi could bat second behind Aoki and Yamada could bat sixth. Hiroki Kokubo likes Kikuchi’s glove and Yamada’s speed/bat. Source: Nikkan Sports 2/10/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/10/2017, Sponichi 2/10/2017Sponichi 2/10/2017

[2/9/2017] Final Samurai Japan World Baseball Classic Roster

Final Samurai Japan roster with designated pitchers pool. Also a list of other NPB players participating in the World Baseball Classic.



[2/5/2017] Samurai Japan New and Notes

Samurai Japan news and notes from February 5:

  • Hiroki Kokubo is planning to use Tomoyuki Sugano, Takahiro Norimoto, Ayumu Ishikawa, and Shota Takeda as his main starters.
  • Norimoto appears to be the favorite to get the first start of the tournament on March 7 against Cuba.
  • There were plans to use Shintaro Fujinami, Kazuhisa Makita, Kodai Senga, and Hirotoshi Masui as long relievers, but that changed after Shohei Otani was taken off the roster. The four pitchers will now most likely be used as ordinary relievers with an eye on pitch counts.
  • Nobuhiro Matsuda will most likely get the start at third and bat ninth.
  • Seiichi Uchikawa will most likely be used as either a designated hitter or a right-handed bat off the bench.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2017, Sports Hochi 2/5/2017, Sports Hochi 2/5/2017, Daily Sports 2/5/2017, Sanspo 2/5/2017, Sponichi 2/5/2017


[2/4/2017] Shota Takeda takes final spot on WBC roster

Samurai Japan announced today that Shohei Otani will be replaced by Shota Takeda on the World Baseball Classic roster. He will wear the uniform number 30.

Source: Samurai 2/4/2017


[2/3/2017] Samurai Japan News and Notes

News and notes from February 3:

  • The batting order may taking shape. Hayato Sakamoto could bat third, followed by a combination of Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Sho Nakata in the four and five spot. Seiichi Uchikawa is a candidate to bat sixth.
  • The first two spots in the order could go to Norichika Aoki and Ryosuke Kikuchi.
  • Shintaro Fujinami could move from bullpen to rotation, now that Shohei Otani is out of the picture.
  • Tomoyuki Sugano could get the opening game start against Cuba on March 7. He will most likely become the ace of the staff. Nikkan Sports seems to think Sugano  could get the game two start against Australia with Takahiro Norimoto getting the opening game start. 

Source: Chunichi Sports 2/3/2017, ZakZak 2/3/2017, Daily Sports 2/3/2017, Daily Sports 2/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 1/3/2017, Sponichi 1/3/2017, Sponichi 1/3/2017


[2/3/2017] Shohei Otani taken off World Baseball Classic roster

The media learned on February 3 that Hiroki Kokubo is planning to take Shohei Otani off the Samurai Japan World Baseball Classic and replace him with another pitcher that can start. Kokubo made the decision after he receiving a full injury update from the Nippon Ham Fighters. He has already spoken to Otani about his decision over the phone.

Source: Sponichi 2/3/2017, Tokyo Sports 2/3/2017, Daily Sports 2/3/2017, Tokyo Sports 2/3/2017


[2/1/2016] Shohei Otani the pitcher out of the WBC, still in as a hitter

Hiroki Kokubo started his spring camp visits with Hiroshima on February 1. He will continue his visits in Miyazaki (Yomiuri, Seibu, Softbank, Orix) and Okinawa (Lotte, Chunichi, Yakult, Rakuten, Nippon Ham Kunigami, Yokohama, Hanshin, Nippon Ham Nago) through to February 14.

Samurai Japan will gather in Miyazaki on February 22 for the start of a four-day mini camp on February 23.

Source: Samurai Japan 2/1/2017Chunichi Sports 2/1/2017, Daily Sports 2/1/2017

Shohei Otani hurt his right ankle during the Nippon Series and aggravated it during the international exhibition games in November. The hope was for a quick recovery that would give him enough time to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. Unfortunately, the media learned on January 31 (February 1 Japan time) that Otani will not be participating in the tournament as a pitcher because he is still having problems with he ankle. He might have to drop out of the tournament altogether if things do not improve.

Source: Chunichi Sports 2/1/2017, Tokyo Sports 2/1/2017Tokyo Sports 2/1/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/1/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/1/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/1/2017, Daily Sports 2/1/2017Daily Sports 2/1/2017, Sponichi 2/1/2017


[1/28/2017] The Last WBC Samurai: Kosuke Tanaka

Samurai Japan announced today that Hiroshima’s Kosuke Tanaka was selected to the World Baseball Classic roster. All twenty-eight players have now been announced.

Source: Samurai Japan announcement

See also:


[1/26/2017] Last Samurai Japan roster spot could go to Kosuke Tanaka

The final Samurai Japan roster spot could go to Hiroshima’s Kosuke Tanaka. Kenta Imamiya was considered the favorite, but Softbank official Sugihiko Mikasa told reporters on January 25 that he was not available because he is still working his way back from right elbow surgery (he went under the knife on October 28 last year).

Other candidates for the last spot could also include: Lotte’s Daiichi Suzuki and Yokohama’s Toshihiko Kuramoto.

Source: Daily Sports 1/26/2017, Daily Sports 1/26/2017Nikkan Sports 1/26/2017, Sponichi 1/26/2017


[1/25/2017] Samurai Japan World Baseball Classic Schedule

Samurai Japan released schedules with Japan broadcast information on January 24.


NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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