Shohei Otani will not pitch for Japan in next month’s World Baseball Classic because of injury, although he might still hit.

Shohei Otani
( IJG JPEG Library)

Since helping the Nippon-Ham Fighters win the Japan Series in the fall, Otani has been struggling to recover from soreness in his right ankle.

“It would have been difficult in terms of getting ready in time. It’s unfortunate, but I won’t be able to pitch in the WBC,” said Otani, who is in Arizona, where the Fighters are holding a spring camp.

Otani, 22, played a key role as a batter when Japan faced the Netherlands and Mexico in exhibition games in November. Last season, he batted .322 with a career-high 22 home runs. The guy both hits and pitches like an all-star. We’ve not seen his like in baseball in our lifetimes (and we will have to wait a while before he’s eligible to come to MLB).

Nippon-Ham manager Hideki Kuriyama made Wednesday’s decision. The Fighters’ training staff said that if the ankle got any worse, Otani might have needed surgery.

Japan won the inaugural WBC in 2006 and defended its title in 2009. The Dominican Republic won in 2013.

https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a-3.jpg?fit=600%2C400&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/a-3.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Dan SchalkMLBRecent Posts#MLB,Shohei Otani,World Baseball ClassicShohei Otani will not pitch for Japan in next month's World Baseball Classic because of injury, although he might still hit. Since helping the Nippon-Ham Fighters win the Japan Series in the fall, Otani has been struggling to recover from soreness in his right ankle. 'It would have been difficult in...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?