Today it was announced that Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven will join the staff of team Kingdom of the Netherlands with the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Just like four years ago, Blyleven will serve as a pitching coach.
Blyleven will take care of the pitchers of the Dutch team together with Steve Jansen, who is the manager of the team normally. But with tournaments like this there is this odd situation that Jansen steps back as manager in favor of Hensley Meulens.
The Dutch born Blyleven won 287 games during his lengthy career (22 seasons) and struck out 3701, which ranks him fifth in the list of all time strikeout leaders. During his career he won two World Series Rings, one with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979 and one with the Minnesota Twins in 1987. These achievements earned him a spot in Cooperstown in 2011 where he entered as a Twin.
Blyleven is the third former Major Leaguer in the staff of the team. Next to him and Hensley Meulens, Andruw Jones is bench coach of the team.
So far only two players are known to participate:
Jonathan Schoop and Wladimir Balentien.
Next to the aforementioned coaches, Sidney de Jong will be hitting coach, Ben Thijssen will be 3rd base coach and Wim Martinus will be 1st base coach.
The Dutch will play their first game in the 2017 World Baseball Classic on March 7 when they will face Korea. Other opponents of group A are Israel and Taiwan.