The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is somewhat more flexible in nationality selection than other national competitions. In addition to their current nationality, they can also choose their national team based on their parental lineage. Tommy Edman (St. Louis), who joined the WBC Korean team in 2023 to be held in March, is such a case.
There are players like that in Japan. St. Louis outfielder Lars Nutba (26) is the main character. Nutba is a California native and American who was born in California, raised in California, and attended high school and college in California. However, Japanese blood also flows in his body. Because his mother is Japanese. Nutba accepts the love call from the Japanese national team and participates in this tournament with the Japanese flag on his chest.
Coincidentally, while two players from St. Louis decided to participate in the WBC based on lineage instead of nationality, Nutba was named in the final list of 30 players for the Japanese national team announced on the 26th. Local media, including ESPN, also conveyed the news of Nutba joining the Japanese national team. As the Japanese, who are chosen as the strongest candidates for the championship along with the United States and the Dominican Republic, are paying attention to how Nuthba will contribute to this competition.
Even though her mother is Japanese, she grew up in an environment that is not very different from a typical American family. So, Japan is still unfamiliar to me. You may have heard a lot about it, but it can be difficult to mix with colleagues who communicate in Japanese and have a Japanese way of thinking. Nutba said he was also preparing for this. 스포츠토토
Nutba brusquely replied that he was studying Japanese with his mother (Kumi Enokida) at a St. Louis club event not long ago. Although Nutba presupposes that she is not good at Japanese, she says, “I try to (Japanese) at least a little. “It will be difficult for her to learn the language in a month, but she will do her best,” she said. “Her mother is singing the Japanese national anthem at her house and I am singing along. We are starting with small things like this,” she explained.
Team Japan doesn’t have many professional outfielders on this roster, and Nutba will have to guard Japan’s outfield alongside Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs) and Masataka Yoshida (Boston). It is not yet confirmed, but the possibility of going to the main position is being raised.
Nutba, who debuted in the major leagues in St. Louis in 2021, played 108 games in 2022 and recorded a batting average of 0.228, 14 homers, 40 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.788. He has the advantage of being able to play all outfield positions such as right fielder, center fielder, and left fielder. Japan can offer great flexibility.