Former Corendon Kinheim starting pitcher Tom Stuifbergen has signed with Kinheim’s neighbor DSS for the coming season, just like a couple of his team mates.
But where Stuifbergen used to have a role as starting pitcher, he will become a reliever with the Haarlem based club.
In an interview with the local Haarlem newspaper, Stuifbergen stated that he should have had a minor surgery to his elbow, so he could pitch without pain again. But with the World Baseball Classic in the back of his head, he decided to skip the surgery. Because of that he informed field manager of team Kingdom of the Netherlands, Steve Janssen, that he would skip the 2016 European championship.
Stuifbergen is preparing himself with other internationals as they train five times a week for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He stated that he is feeling fine and that he is supported by strenght-and fitness coach Paul Venner.
But elbow problems were not Stuifbergen’s only concern last season. He also suffered from a bad knee. This was the result of a knee injury that he sustained during the 2015 Premier 12 tournament. A special brace should give enough support to his knee during his performances.
According to the “Haalrems Dagblad” Stuifbergen was approached by Curacao Neptunus, but he prefers to play for DSS because that is closer to home. Stuifbergen is quite frankly as he says that Curacao Neptunus already has one of the best pitching staffs.”It would not be good for the Dutch competition if I would join the Rotterdam based club.”
Stuifbergen, who pitched seven seasons professionally in the organization of the Minnesota Twins (28-26 record, with a 4.01 ERA 336 Ks and 75BB, and a cup of tea with the AAA Rochester RedWings), will have a combined role with DSS next year. Next to being relief pitcher, he will also serve as the team’s pitching coach. His goal is to improve the young pitching staff of DSS. They have to pitch enough innings and that is also a reason why Stuifbergen will become a reliever. But his physical situation doesn’t allow him to be a starter anymore. Even though Stuifbergen expects the team to be quite unstable because of the young players, the additions that the club made for the upcoming season may result in a better spot in the standings at the end of the season that last year. A spot with the top four may be a bit too much to ask, but expect the team to battle for fifth place.