Japan’s 92.5 billion won big leaguer decides not to participate in the WBC… “We are devoted to ML debut season”

Kodai Senga (30, New York Mets), who has achieved his dream of advancing to the United States, will concentrate on his major league debut season without participating in the WBC (World Baseball Classic).

Japanese media ‘Tokyo Sports’ reported on the 28th that “Senga Kodai, who transferred from Softbank to the Mets after gaining qualification as an overseas FA, is known to be absent from the 5th WBC held in March.” 

Senga showed a good pitching with an average ERA of 1.94 in 22 games in the 2022 season, 11 wins and 6 losses, and ranked second in the Central League’s average ERA and third in wins and strikeouts (156). Afterwards, he obtained qualification as an overseas FA and submitted an application to exercise his FA rights to the Softbank club at the end of October, and finally achieved his dream by signing a five-year, $75 million (approximately 92.5 billion won) contract with the Major League New York Mets in December of last year. 

Senga was excluded from the final 30-man roster of the Japanese baseball team announced on the 26th. However, Senga’s will to participate in the WBC was firm. He recently expressed his desire to compete, saying, “I feel very regretful because I became a losing pitcher in the 2017 WBC.” In response, Japanese baseball team coach Hideki Kuriyama considered replacing Senga with an existing player from the quarterfinals, but decided not to call him ahead of his debut season in the major leagues. 

Tokyo Sports supported the choice of head coach Kuriyamia. The media said, “Senga is approaching his first year in the major leagues. In addition, his position is a starting pitcher. The ball and mound in the major leagues are all different from those in Japan,” he said. The risk of injury also increases. Joining the national team is never a plus for him.”  안전놀이터

Senga directly thanked director Guriyama for his consideration. He said, “After exchanging contact with the director several times, it was decided that I would not attend. In the process, the coach gave me a lot of warm words,” he said. 

Tokyo Sports said, “Senga joined the Mets aiming to win the World Series with a five-year, $75 million contract. The pressure of playing for a popular club must be considerable,” he said, cheering for Senga’s debut season, saying, “I believe that while preparing for the season, I believe that my heart will be with Samurai Japan.” 

Meanwhile, Japan’s national team has five major leaguers participating in the WBC despite Senga’s absence. Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who conquered the major leagues with his two-time pitching, Yu Darvish (San Diego), Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), Lars Nuthba (St. Louis), and Masataka Yoshida (Boston) were named on the roster. 

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