Ohtani 'can give 100%' as Japan's World Baseball Classic starter

Major League two-way star Ohtani Shohei says he is thrilled to be the starting pitcher in Japan's first World Baseball Classic game against China on Thursday.

After Wednesday's practice, Ohtani told reporters he will be firmly focused from the first inning to give his team momentum.

He said he might be a bit nervous in his WBC debut, but he thinks he can give a 100-percent performance.

Ohtani said he is in very good physical shape. His batting is not bad and he has been able to practice pitching. He believes he can play a key role if he does what he normally does.

Asked about both pitching and batting at the WBC, Ohtani said he would love to do so if that is what the team needs.

He said he hopes to pitch well on Thursday and join the team's offensive effort too.