Many hoped that the Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen would join team Kingdom of the Netherlands for the upcoming World Baseball Classic but according to Dodger Beat writer Bill Plunkett and several sources, the pitcher from Curacao will not participate in the World Baseball Classic.
After several players from Curacao and Aruba (Andrelton Simmons, Xander Bogaerts and Jonathan Schoop) had made clear that they will join the Dutch team, this is quite a disappointment for the fans and for manager Hensley Meulens.
But Jansen isn’t the only pitcher of the Dodgers who has declined to participate. Earlier Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda are also expected to skip the 2017 WBC. The Dodgers even want to keep Maeda out of the tournament.
Earlier this month, Softbank Hawks star pitcher Rick van den Hurk confirmed that he will participate in the prestigious tournament and things started to look good for the Dutch. But without Jansen, team Kingdom of the Netherlands lack a reliable closer.
In the 2013 edition of the WBC, Jansen was added to the Dutch roster for the championship round in San Francisco, but the closer never saw any action.
There are still a couple of question marks on the Dutch roster. Even though the names of all MLB players have been placed on the preliminary roster, only the aforementioned three, Rick van den Hurk and Wladimir Balentien have confirmed their participation. It is still unclear whether Didi Gregorius and Jurickson Profar will join the team or not.
Perhaps if the Dutch reach the championship round, Jansen will be added again, especially as the championship round is played at Dodger Stadium. For the
other games in round one and round two, expect Loek van Mil or Tom de Blok fill in the closer role.
This report was brought to you by Score66 Baseball.