Japan's two-way player Shohei Ohtani plays catch during team practice in Miami, Florida, on March 19, 2023, the day before a World Baseball Classic semifinal game against Mexico. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Shohei Ohtani indicated Sunday he may pitch again in the World Baseball Classic if Japan reaches Tuesday's final.

Ohtani started Japan's March 9 opener and Thursday's quarterfinal win that earned the team a trip to Miami. Ohtani's Los Angeles Angels manager, Phil Nevin, said recently he believed his star would not pitch for Japan after the quarterfinals.

On Sunday, however, Ohtani indicated the Angels were willing to be flexible.

"My club listens to my selfish demands, and they are really giving me some leeway," Ohtani said after Samurai Japan practiced for the first time at Miami's loanDepot park.

"Of course, I'd like to be ready to pitch in relief."

For that to happen, however, Japan will have to get past Mexico on Monday.


"I believe our pitchers will be able to keep their hitters in check," Ohtani said. "The question is going to be how easy our hitters make it for them."

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