Are we going to see more Shohei Ohtani (Japan, Los Angeles Angels) on the mound at the World Baseball Classic (WBC)? It has the potential to become a reality. In the first place, the American and Japanese media reported that Ohtani’s pitching pitched until the first and second rounds held at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. This is because he was scheduled to pitch in an exhibition game as soon as he returned to the Los Angeles Angels.
However, Ohtani overturned바카라사이트, expectations in an interview with foreign media and said that he wanted to make a relief mound in the final on the 22nd (hereafter Korean time). The LA Times said on the 20th, “If Japan beats Mexico in the semifinals, I will go out as a bullpen pitcher in the finals.”
Of course, Ohtani said, “It will depend on my physical condition. So far, the team members have been really good at listening to my request. Among the things I do, my teammates have tolerated many things. That’s it. I want to make a decision based on my physical condition.”
However, if Ohtani says it is possible to pitch in relief in the finals, will coach Hideki Kuriyama stop him? Director Kuriyama said, “There are strategic issues, and we also have to consider the body. I can’t tell you right now.” However, it is extremely unlikely that Japan, which is aiming for its first championship in 14 years since the 2009 tournament, will save the ‘pitcher’ Ohtani card.
On the 16th, Ohtani started in the quarterfinals against Italy, and did not climb the mound after giving up 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk and 2 runs in 4⅔ innings. There is no problem in the final appearance on the 22nd. U.S. and Japanese media predicted that Ohtani would have formed a rapport with the Angels about actually getting on the mound in the finals.
If Ohtani gets to the mound in the finals, it could be an interesting matchup. It is a pitching battle between pitcher Ohtani and Ohtani’s colleague Mike Trout (LA Angels). Will the two superstars who eat a pot of rice at the Angels fight for the first time in history?
If it comes to pass, it will be the ‘match of the century’. Trout is in the process of signing a 12-year, $426.5 million (approximately 558.5 billion won) contract. It is evaluated that Ohtani has booked a contract of at least $500 million (about 654.8 billion won) in the 2023-2024 free agent market. In other words, it is a confrontation with 1 trillion won.
Of course, there are prerequisites attached. Japan must beat Mexico in the semifinals on the 21st. Mexico is the team that beat the United States in Group C in the first round. You can never be careless in Japan. It is also a stage where Sasaki Rocky (Chiba Lotte Marines)’s 164km fastball is properly evaluated by people in the major leagues. If Sasaki overwhelms the Mexican hitters, the odds of Ohtani and Trout going head-to-head increase. If Japan goes to the final, it is highly likely that Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres) will be the starting pitcher.