It's all arms on deck for Samurai Japan in the World Baseball Classic final - including Shohei Ohtani.
Though the two-way superstar won't start Tuesday's final against the United States, Ohtani confirmed he'll be available to pitch in relief.
"I'll definitely be prepared to pitch wherever, but before that, I'm gonna have to hit and make sure I put some runs on the board before I get to pitch," Ohtani told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports through his interpreter after Japan's stunning walk-off win in Monday's semifinal over Mexico.
Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama confirmed his superstar's words, saying there's "not a zero chance" Ohtani pitches in the final, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. When asked if he might start the game on the mound, Ohtani said, "Maybe not," according to Newsday's David Lennon.
Ohtani, playing in his first World Baseball Classic, has been his usual dominant self on both sides of the ball throughout the tournament. He's earned the win in each of his two starts on the mound while posting a 2.08 ERA and 0.69 WHIP with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 8.2 innings.