TOKYO (AP) — Japan completed naming its 30-man roster for the World Baseball Classic on Thursday, including St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lars Notebar and Boston Red Sox’s Masataka Yoshida.
Nootbaar had a Japanese mother, but grew up in California and could not speak Japanese. He was the first person to represent Japan in the WBC, qualifying because of his ancestry.
Japan announced the first 12 members last month. They include MLB players such as Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, pitcher Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres and outfielder Seiya Suzuki of the Chicago Cubs.
The Japanese team, which has won the WBC twice but hasn’t won since 2009, is coached by Hideki Kuriyama. Japan won the opening game in 2006, the Dominican Republic in 2013 and the United States for the last time in 2017.
The World Baseball Classic will be played March 8-21 in Japan, Taiwan and the United States. It has 20 national teams and the powerhouses from Asia will be Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia.
Latin America will have the largest teams, including Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama and Nicaragua.
The US and Canada also entered.
Japan will play its first match against China on March 9 in Group B at the Tokyo Dome. The top two teams from Groups A and B will play a single-elimination quarter-final in Tokyo on March 15-16. The winner will advance to the semifinals in Miami on March 19-20.
The final will be held on March 21 in Miami.
Shirt numbers Japanese players:
Hiromi Ito (Nippon-Ham Fighters) 17; Ryoji Kuribayashi (Hiroshima Carp) 20; Yuki Matsui (Rakuten Hawks) 13; Hiroya Miyagi (Orix Buffaloes) 29; Shohei Otani (Los Angeles Angels) 16; Daisei Ota (Yomiuri Giants) ) 15; Rakuki Sasaki (Lotte Navy) 14; Hiroto Takahashi (Chunichi Dragons) 28; Keiji Takahashi (Yakult Swallows) 47; Udagawa (Orix Buffalo) 26; Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffalo) 18; Atsushi Yuasa Nozomi (Hanshin Tigers) 22.
Takuya Kai (SoftBank Hawks) 10; Yuhei Nakamura (Yakult Swallows) 27; Takumi Oshiro (Yomiuri Giants) 24.
Genda Sosuke (Seibu Lions) 2; Makigo (DeNA BayStars) 3 games; Murakami (Yakult Swallows) 55 games; Nakano Takumu (Hanshin Tigers) 7 games; (Seibu Lions) 33 games.
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.
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