The Japanese sports website hochi.jp.co announced that Curacao slugger and Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk will not join team Kingdom of the Netherlands in the friendly matches vs Samurai Japan in November.
The article doesn’t tell why the two Dutchie stars of the NPB will not join the team but it mentioned that both are willing to join team Kingdom of the Netherlands with the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Wladimir Balentien’s future with the Yakult Swallows is up in the air as the club is eyeing some pitching. The club hesitates to continue the cooperation with the slugger as he has some history with nagging injuries. They also claim that his defense is questionable.
Nevertheless Balentien wants to return to the Swallows. In 2013 Balentien broke the season homerun record as he hit 60 dingers to beat Sadaharu Oh’s record of 55.
Balentien finished the 2016 season with a .269 average and 31 homeruns.
Rick van den Hurk signed a three year contract extension with the Softbank Hawks for the next three seasons. This year, Van den Hurk ended up on the disabled list due to some ailments. Eventually he finished the season with seven wins and three losses in thirteen starts. During the season Rick broke the record of consecutive wins for a rookie and a foreign pitcher with fourteen consecutive victories.
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