Maru replaces injured Kajitani for Samurai Japan exhibition games

Kyodo

Hiroshima Carp center fielder Yoshihiro Maru has been summoned to play for the national team in March’s international exhibitions against Taiwan, NPB Enterprises announced Saturday.

Maru, who had been a fixture on Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo’s team, will take the place of Yokohama BayStars outfielder Takayuki Kajitani, who pulled out with an oblique muscle injury.

“I want to contribute however I can,” Maru said. “Something’s different from when you’re wearing your usual uniform. I’ll be happy if I’m able to do what I’m capable of in that situation.”

With a year to go before the next World Baseball Classic, Japan will host Taiwan on March 5 at Nagoya Dome and the following day at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.