FUKUOKA – Samurai Japan will play games against Mexico and the Netherlands in November, with an eye on next year’s World Baseball Classic, Nippon Professional Baseball announced Sunday.
Mexico is managed by Yomiuri Giants scout Edgar Gonzalez, while the Netherlands team will be managed by San Francisco Giants batting coach Hensley Meulens, who played in Japan for the Chiba Lotte Marines and Yakult Swallows.
With the next WBC due to kick off in March, manager Hiroki Kokubo’s squad will face Mexico on Nov. 10 and 11 and the Netherlands the following two days. All four games are scheduled for Tokyo Dome.
“I heard they will be calling up good players, so we’ll set up a team that can match them and give our best,” Kokubo said of his team’s opponents at a press conference.
Kokubo also revealed his intention to visit Japanese players playing in the major leagues in August to hold talks for the WBC.
In the 2013 WBC, the Japanese team was defeated in the semifinals in San Francisco.