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Baseball: Cardinals’ Nootbar, Swallows’ Yamada to join Japan for WBC

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Kyodo News

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbar and Yakult Swallows second baseman Tetsuto Yamada are poised to play for Japan in March’s World Baseball Classic, manager Hideki Kuriyama said Wednesday. Nootbar, 25, whose mother is Japanese, has played 166 MLB games with a .231 career batting average, 19 home runs and 55 RBIs for St. Louis. He will be the first player to represent Japan in the tourney who qualifies only through his ancestry. “He’s a well-balanced player, whose career in MLB is going take off from here,” Kuriyama told reporters in an online media availability. “I believe he can give…

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