Akaminai to replace Kawabata for Taiwan games


Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles corner infielder Ginji Akaminai has been called up for the Japan national team in place of Tokyo Yakult Swallows third baseman Shingo Kawabata, who has been diagnosed with influenza, for two games against Taiwan this weekend, NPB Enterprises announced Wednesday.

“Since I play as a professional, I always think about getting selected for the national team. I’m glad to be selected however it happens,” Akaminai said after Japan’s training session at Muscat Stadium in Okayama Prefecture.

Japan will host Taiwan at Nagoya Dome on Saturday and at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome a day later as the countdown begins to next year’s World Baseball Classic.