Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani has committed to playing for Japan in the upcoming 2023 World Baseball Classic, which will run from March 8-21, 2023 and will be played internationally in Taichung, Taiwan and Tokyo, Japan, as well as domestically in Phoenix and Miami.
The 28-year-old MLB phenomenon and Ōshū, Iwate native took to social media Thursday to share the news.
“Thank you to all the fans that supported me this year. I appreciate it and am excited for what’s to come next. Also, I have officially informed Team Japan Manager Mr. Kuriyama that I would like to participate in next year’s WBC. Looking forward for the opportunity to face the best players around the world and to be able to play in front of the Japanese fans for the first time in over 5 years!!” Ohtani wrote on Instagram.
The 2023 WBC will be the fifth iteration of the event. It was originally set for 2021, but was canceled in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan is the host of Pool B in the tournament — which also includes South Korea, Australia and China — and will play its opening round and quarterfinal games at the Tokyo Dome. Ohtani will return to Japan during Spring Training, per MLB.com.
The 2021 American League MVP hit .273 at the plate with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs on 160 hits. He went 15–9 on the mound with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts over 166.0 innings pitched in the 2022 season.
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