It flies straight from Arizona, USA to Nagoya, Japan. Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels) and Seiya Suzuki (29, Chicago Cubs), the core forces of the Japanese national team, will move by charter plane. Sankei Sports, a Japanese sports magazine, reported on the 25th that ‘Otani and Suzuki will join Samurai Japan on March 2nd (Korean time) at the earliest.’스포츠토토
Ohtani and Suzuki are preparing for the season at the Arizona spring camp of their teams, the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs. Ohtani, who is scheduled to appear as a designated hitter in the demonstration game on the 27th and 28th, will start against the Oakland Athletics on March 1st. After the match against Auckland, the team’s schedule ends. Suzuki will also depart after completing his team’s schedule until March 1st.
Sankei Sports said, “It was a decision to avoid congested situations at the airport and consider the fatigue caused by the flight time of more than 12 hours.” There is a 16 hour time difference between Arizona and Japan. Departure airport and time are unknown.
Major league players scheduled to join the Japanese national team have tight schedules. Long travel times can be physically taxing. Ohtani, who is likely to start the first game of the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), is more like that than other major league players.
The Japan national team is scheduled to play against the Chunichi Dragons in Nagoya on March 3-4. Major league players are not allowed to play in this game. It is possible to play in the match against the Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes in Osaka on March 6-7. If Ohtani starts the match against China in the first round on March 9, he will have to start immediately without a real match in Japan due to schedule.
Ohtani and Suzuki are key players in the Japanese national team’s karate. Ohtani is expected to start and finish in important matches after the quarterfinals following the first round against China. Last year, he recorded 15 wins, 9 losses, an ERA of 2.33, and a batting average of .27, 3, 34 home runs, and 95 RBIs.
Suzuki is likely to play 5 times, behind No. 3 Otani and No. 4 Murakami Munetaka (23, Yakult Swallows). He made his major league debut last year and posted a batting average of .262, 14 homers, and 46 RBIs. He has extensive experience in international competitions, such as participating in the 2017 WBC, the 2019 Premier 12, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ohtani and Suzuki are said to be close friends as they were born in 1994. In 2013, he started his professional career by joining Nippon Ham Fighters and Hiroshima Carp side by side.
The Japanese national team has five major league players. Darvish Yu (37, San Diego Padres) was the only one to join the national team camp on the 17th. Outfielder Masataka Yoshida (30, Boston Red Sox) and Japanese-American outfielder Lars Nutba (26, St. Louis Cardinals) are expected to arrive in Japan around March 5.