Suzuki Seiya (29, Chicago Cubs), a key player in the Japanese baseball team’s batting line, will not be able to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), which opens on the 8th of next month due to a side injury.
Japanese media outlets, including Nikkan Sports, reported on the 28th that Suzuki told the Japanese national team that it would be difficult for them to participate in the WBC.
Suzuki was scheduled to start as the fourth batter and right fielder in the 2023 MLB exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants held at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, USA on the 26th, but felt pain in his side during batting training before the game.
Suzuki, who did not compete at the time, decided to give up participating in the WBC after receiving an overhaul.
Suzuki, who became the batting champion twice in Japanese professional baseball, signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Cubs through the posting system after the 2021 season.
Last year, his debut season in the big leagues, he had a batting average of 0.262, 14 home runs and 46 RBIs in 111 games.
Suzuki tried his best to prepare by increasing his weight by 10kg this offseason to increase his power, but encountered a variable called flank pain.안전놀이터
Suzuki’s departure is a bad news for the Japanese national team.
He was selected for the national team at the 2017 WBC, the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and played an active role as the fourth hitter. At the Tokyo Olympics, he added strength to Japan’s gold medal win.
Originally, the Japanese national team planned to build a big league outfield team with Suzuki in right field, Yoshima Tasataka (Boston Red Sox) in left field, and Lars Nubba (St. Louis Cardinals) in center field.
With Suzuki leaving, the Japanese media observes that it is highly likely that Nutba will play right field and Kensuke Kondo (Softbank Hawks) will play center field.
Meanwhile, a replacement player has not been decided yet.