’68SV’ didn’t even show a vacancy… ‘Up to 160km’ Fireballer joins, Korea and other Japanese ‘Depth’

The Japanese World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team, which faced Italy in the quarterfinals, made a substitution. This is the part where you can check Japan’s ‘depth’ once again.

On the 14th, Japanese national team coach 메이저놀이터 Hideki Kuriyama replaced the WBC player. Ryoji Kuribayashi (Hiroshima Toyo Carp) was removed, and Soichiro Yamazaki (Orix Buffaloes), who has a maximum of 160 km, joined.

Kuribayashi is a player who was nominated by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the first round of the 2020 rookie draft, and is a pitcher who throws a fast ball, curve, cutter, and forkball with a maximum speed of 155 km. At the same time as it appeared in 2021, it took the finishing position. In the first season of his debut, Kuribayashi had a shocking season with 1 loss, 37 saves, and an average ERA of 0.86 in 53 games. Recorded.

Kuribayashi succeeded in joining the WBC Japan team based on his tremendous performance for the second year in a row. Although he had not been able to stand on the mound since the start of the first round, Kuribayashi recorded a save by blocking 1 inning with 1 hit, 1 strikeout and no run against the Softbank Hawks on the 26th of last month. In the warm-up match against the Japanese Hanshin Tigers, he staged a show of force with 2 strikeouts and no runs in 1 inning.

Kuribayashi showed good performances in practice games and evaluation matches, and took a proper ‘snow stamp’ from coach Kuriyama. However, he did not appear in the Tokyo round. The reason is the pain in his lower back. However, Japan played the game well without Kuribayashi, recording the fewest runs among the teams in Group B, and secured 4 consecutive victories to settle in the quarterfinal stage.

The Japanese national team made good use of the opportunity to make substitutions ahead of the quarterfinals. Excluding Kuribayashi, who could not pitch due to back pain, Soichiro Yamazaki, who pitched 1 inning, 1 strikeout, and no runs as a member of the Japanese national team against the Orix Buffaloes on the 7th, joined the team. In the meantime, it was difficult to find a ‘gap’ even though Kuribayashi had not pitched, but a player who used a powerful ball with a maximum speed of 160 km joined.

Yamazaki, who was nominated by Orix in the 6th round of 2016, switched his position to a full-fledged bullpen pitcher last year. Yamazaki, who freely uses fast balls that travel over 150 km, shined especially in short matches. He marked 3 holds in the Yakult Swallows and Japan Series, contributing greatly to the team’s victory. His career record was 2 wins, 4 losses, 6 holds, 1 save and an earned run average of 3.36 in 24 appearances.

During the first round, the Japanese national team had no backdoor problems even without Kuribayashi. It was different from the Korean national team, which had no pitchers among the players who joined the national team because their pitching and physical condition did not come up properly. And as a monster throwing up to 160km joined instead of Kuribayashi, once again the difference in ‘depth’ was indirectly confirmed.

Japan, which will face Italy in the quarterfinals on the 16th, will have Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) on the mound as a starting pitcher. And as there is no backing, Darvish Yu (San Diego Padres) will wait in the bullpen for an all-out war.

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