Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda was added Monday to the major league all-star team that will take on Samurai Japan next month, while former New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui was named as a bench coach.
With the number of players raised from 28 to 29, Japan added Hanshin Tigers left-hander Yuta Iwasada to a squad that includes Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks outfielder Seiji Uebayashi and Chunichi Dragons reliever Yu Sato.
Maeda and Matsui both started their careers in Japan before moving to the majors. Maeda played eight seasons with the Hiroshima Carp, while Matsui, who was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame this year, spent 10 seasons with the Yomiuri Giants.
For the first time since 2014, Major League Baseball will send a squad of all-stars to Japan, managed by Miami Marlins skipper and former Yankees slugger Don Mattingly.
Players named so far include Yadier Molina, Eugenio Suarez, Ronald Acuna Jr., Rhys Hoskins, Carlos Santana, Whit Merrifield and Chris Taylor.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, the National League recipient of the Hank Aaron Award who hit for the cycle twice this season, has declined to participate.
The six-game series starts on Nov. 9 with three games at Tokyo Dome, one at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium on Nov. 13 and the final two at Nagoya Dome over the following two days.
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