Shohei Otani will no longer play in World Baseball Classic

Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters starting pitcher/designated hitter, Shohei Otani, has now been officially ruled out playing in the WBC due to an ankle injury he suffered last year during the NPB postseason (aggravated it again during an International exhibition against Mexico)… Otani, personally, took himself out of the roster, fearing that it could get worse if he plays through it again, according to the report… his main objective now is to recover himself quickly in order to prepare himself for the upcoming season.

With the lingering injury, there’s been some talks that there’s still a chance that Otani could make an appearance as a pinch-hitter with him no longer pitching in the tournament… but it wouldn’t make sense at all, regarding about them winning, if pinch-hitting will be his only role in the classic (Samurai Japan wanted him to be at 100 percent), and the team appears now set to move on without him, as Shota Takeda will likely be replacing Otani now in the starting role.

Shohei Otani is a remarkable athlete, and is only one of the few chosen ones out there who could hit for power, and pitch outstandingly at the same time. After the NPB regular season last year, he will be used mainly as pitcher/DH for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but, sadly, that won’t happen anymore.

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