[WBC] 4th hitter Suzuki left with injury… ‘Dark clouds’ in Samurai Japan

Suzuki Seiya (29, Chicago Cubs) eventually cannot play in the 2023 WBC (World Baseball Classic) due to an injury.

On the 28th, the Japanese baseball team said, “Suzuki will not be able to participate in the WBC due to pain in his left side. A replacement player has not yet been decided. We will announce it later.”

On the 26th, Suzuki missed the demonstration game due to pain in his left side. Not only his team, the Chicago Cubs, but also the Japanese baseball team, which is aiming to regain the top spot in the WBC, also voiced concerns. Head coach Hideki Kuriyama finished the Miyazaki camp schedule the day before, saying, “I heard that you are not feeling well. I’m worried.” He said with a serious expression.

Even when Suzuki was in a slump last season, coach Kuriyama said, “Suzuki is a right-handed hitter with no weaknesses. His affection for Suzuki was so great that he said, “While coaching in Japan, he always wanted to be with a player like this.” At the same time, he also made remarks that seemed to be dropped as the 4th hitter.

Shohei Ohtani (28, Los Angeles Angels) of the “two-way” also said, “I’m worried about Suzuki’s condition. He is an essential player for the team, but I hope he doesn’t overdo it.” The Japanese media were also keenly aware of Suzuki’s condition and worried, “If Suzuki is absent, Samurai Japan will suffer a fatal loss.”

Suzuki, who debuted in Nippon Professional Baseball in a Hiroshima uniform in 2013, recorded a batting average of 0.315, 182 homers, and 562 RBIs in 902 games in 9 seasons. After the 2021 season, he signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Chicago Cubs through the posting system.

In the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 and last year’s Tokyo Olympics, he served as Japan’s fourth hitter. Suzuki, who entered the big leagues with the highest paid among all Japanese fielders, fell short of expectations with a batting average of 0.262, 14 homers and 46 RBIs in 111 games in his debut season.

However, Suzuki’s portion of the Japanese baseball team is very large. He also has rich international competition experience, serving as the 4th hitter for the national team at the 2017 WBC, 2019 WBSC Premier 12, and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The average age of the Japanese national team is 27.3 years old, the lowest among all Japanese WBC baseball national teams. Coach Kuriyama also expected Suzuki and Ohtani to lead young players in attack and batting.먹튀검증

He was a player who needed to keep his place as a right-handed hitter in the center of the batting line. Most of the central hitters, including Ohtani, Munetaka Murakami, the “home run king,” and Masataka Yoshida, who signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox, were left-handed hitters, so Suzuki’s role as right-handed hitter was more important. There are outfielders Koji Chikamoto (Hanshin) and Ryoma Nishikawa (Hiroshima) as reserve players, but they are all left-handed hitters.

Japanese baseball officials are trying to show a calm response, saying, “(I’m not feeling well) there is no need to overdo it,” but the disappointment and regret of Japanese baseball fans who expected the strongest power are bursting out here and there.

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