Japan confirmed and announced the 30-man roster for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on the 26th (hereafter Korean time).
It covers major leaguers such as Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish, and Seiya Suzuki, as well as NPB’s best players such as Munetaka Murakami, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Rocky Sasaki. It is no exaggeration to say that he is the strongest member of the Japanese national team of all time. The biggest reason why Japan is considered a favorite for the championship is that the aces are all out there. It is difficult to tell who is the Japanese ace.
The country that will compete with Japan for the championship is, of course, the United States. The United States, the winner of the previous tournament, plans to fill all 30 members of the national team with major leaguers. It is said that they are having some difficulties in forming the pitching staff while the rough list is finalized.
The player leading the U.S. national team is currently the strongest hitter Mike Trout (LA Angels). He was first selected as a member of the WBC USA team. 안전놀이터
When Trout was contacted by national team general manager Tony Riggins in July and asked to “captain the national team,” Trout didn’t hesitate one bit. At the time, Trout was resting with a back injury and the Angels were falling behind in the ranking competition, so he could have noticed, but he regretted not participating in the 2017 tournament, so he readily accepted.
However, there is one player that Trout regrets. That’s ‘best friend’ Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies). If Trout represents the American League, Harper is the best hitter in the National League. While Trout won three MVPs, Harper won two MVPs. In 2012, they rose to the Rookie of the Year side by side and formed a rivalry like fate.
Trout said, “As far as I remember (after being selected for the national team), the first player I contacted was Bryce. We grew up around the same time, were compared to each other, and made it to the major leagues together. He said, ‘Hey, this is an opportunity for us to play together.’ He said he thought it would be a great opportunity.”
At the time of July, Harper also expressed his intention to participate in the WBC. However, he suffered Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after the World Series. This WBC, of course, is impossible to compete until the first half of this season. For Trout, who dreamed of a chance to be with his best friend on the national team, there is no choice but to be regretful.
However, this does not mean that the U.S. national team is weak. Trout, Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Trey Turner, and Pete Alonso boast a formidable lineup. On the mound, the starters such as Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Nestor Cortes, and Meryl Kelly, and the bullpen, such as Devin Williams, David Bednar, Dylan Tate, and Adam Ottavino, are also splendid.
Trout, who suffered from a back injury last year, expressed confidence in his physical condition, saying, “After the season, my back is in good condition. It feels strengthened while doing back strength exercises, but I don’t think there is any problem.”
He continued, “There are a lot of great teams participating in this competition. That’s the main reason I accepted the national team. There is nothing but winning. Otherwise, I will fail.”