Baseball: Slugger Okamoto, reliever Matsui to join Japan’s WBC team


Japan’s World Baseball Classic team is set to add Yomiuri Giants third baseman Kazuma Okamoto and Rakuten Eagles closer Yuki Matsui to its roster, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.

Japan’s manager Hideki Kuriyama on Jan. 6 announced the first 12 men, led by Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani, for the fifth edition of the tournament in March.

Okamoto led the Central League in both home runs and RBIs in 2020 and 2021 before Yakult Swallows third baseman Munetaka Murakami became Japanese pro baseball’s youngest Triple Crown winner at age 22 last year.

Matsui led the Pacific...

Kyodo News

Kyodo News