MLB’s Yoshida, Nootbaar named to Japan’s WBC roster

New Boston Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar were among the final players added to Japan’s World Baseball Classic roster on Thursday.

Manager Hideki Kuriyama, looking to guide Samurai Japan to its third championship and first since 2009, rounded out his 30-man roster with the addition of Yoshida, Nootbaar, and 16 domestic stars.

Samurai Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama announces the full roster for Japan’s World Baseball Classic team in Tokyo on Jan. 26, 2023. (Kyodo)

Kuriyama announced the first 12 players in early January, including Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani, San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish and Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki.

Japan will play its first game on March 9 against China in Pool B at Tokyo Dome. The top two teams will each take on one of two teams advancing from Pool A played in Taiwan in single-game quarterfinals, also in Tokyo.

The semifinals will be played on March 19 and 20 in Miami, where the final will also be held on March 21.

Japan failed to advance past the semifinals in the last two tournaments.


Japan’s 30-man roster (Last names shown in alphabetical order, followed by their jersey numbers)

Pitchers:

Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres) 11

Shota Imanaga (DeNA BayStars) 21

Hiromi Ito (Nippon Ham Fighters) 17

Ryoji Kuribayashi (Hiroshima Carp) 20

Yuki Matsui (Rakuten Eagles) 13

Hiroya Miyagi (Orix Buffaloes) 29

Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) 16

Taisei Ota (Yomiuri Giants) 15

Roki Sasaki (Lotte Marines) 14

Hiroto Takahashi (Chunichi Dragons) 28

Keiji Takahashi (Yakult Swallows) 47

Shosei Togo (Yomiuri Giants) 12

Yuki Udagawa (Orix Buffaloes) 26

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes) 18

Atsuki Yuasa (Hanshin Tigers) 22

—–

Catchers:

Takuya Kai (SoftBank Hawks) 10

Yuhei Nakamura (Yakult Swallows) 27

Takumi Oshiro (Yomiuri Giants) 24

—–

Infielders:

Sosuke Genda (Seibu Lions) 2

Shugo Maki (DeNA BayStars) 3

Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows) 55

Takumu Nakano (Hanshin Tigers) 7

Kazuma Okamoto (Yomiuri Giants) 25

Tetsuto Yamada (Yakult Swallows) 1

Hotaka Yamakawa (Seibu Lions) 33

—–

Outfielders:

Kensuke Kondo (SoftBank Hawks) 8

Lars Nootbaar (St. Louis Cardinals) 23

Ukyo Shuto (SoftBank Hawks) 9

Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs) 51

Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox) 34


Related coverage:

Baseball: Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish headline Japan’s roster for WBC

Baseball: Shohei Ohtani hopes to do it all for Japan in WBC

Baseball: Trout hopes for WBC battle against Angels teammate Ohtani


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