Team Japan has added more firepower to their World Baseball Classic roster.
According to Kyoto News, San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish is joining the Japanese roster for the upcoming tournament. It will mark his second appearance in the World Baseball Classic as he was part of Japan’s gold medal winning team in 2009.
San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish returning to Team Japan
Darvish was a key part of Japan’s gold medal winning roster in the second World Baseball Classic. He was the staff ace as a 22 year old, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.08 ERA and 20 strikeouts over his 13 innings in the tournament. Darvish also closed out the final game, striking out two of the final three batters he faced as Japan won the gold medal.
2022 was a typically strong season for the Padres starter. He shook off a miserable second half from the previous year to post a 3.10 ERA and a 0.950 WHiP over his 194.2 innings, striking out 197 batters with 37 walks. If he can continue that form in the WBC, he would be a major piece for Japan’s quest to bring the title home once more.
The WBC can also serve as a way to get Darvish up to speed in a much more competitive setting. As the Padres are hoping to close the gap on the Dodgers in the NL West, if not win the division outright, having Darvish completely ready to go from the beginning of the season would be a boost to those chances.
There is some risk for the Padres as well. There had been a rash of injuries amongst players that participated in the WBC in the past. Considering that the Padres already need to add a pair of starters to their rotation, they cannot afford to lose Darvish for an extended period of time.
San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish is joining Team Japan for the World Baseball Classic. He is hoping that history repeats itself in the tournament.