Samurai Japan Kicks Off WBC Training Camp

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Members of Samurai Japan run Friday at training camp ahead of the World Baseball Classic at Hinata Sun Marine Stadium Miyazaki.

MIYAZAKI — Samurai Japan opened up its training camp on Friday at Hinata Sun Marine Stadium Miyazaki, looking to regain the championship at next month’s World Baseball Classic after falling short the past two tournaments.

Twenty-six members of the team, minus Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels and three others who are still in the United States with their major league teams, gathered under clear skies and began training a little after 10 a.m.

San Diego Padres hurler Yu Darvish, the only major leaguer to join the camp on Day 1, worked out in front of a large crowd and made it a point to speak to some of his younger teammates.

A send-off series against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks is scheduled for Feb. 25-26 and training camp wraps up on Feb. 27.

The team is then scheduled to play four warmup games before facing China in first-round Pool B play on March 9 at Tokyo Dome.