Today the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB) announced in a press release, that former MLB pitcher Jair Jurrjens will join team Kingdom of the Netherlands during the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
With Jurrjens, manager Hensley Meulens can add another pitcher to the rotation with MLB experience. The other one is Rick van den Hurk.
Recently, Jurrjens did not pitch as he was released from his CPBL team the Uni-President/7-Eleven Lions because of disappointing results as a result of a groin injury. Despite a promising start in which he became the first pitcher in the 2016 season to win five games in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. But later Jurrjens started to be bothered by the injury and his numbers declined. By the time he was released, he had an ERA of 5.38.
Jurrjens joined team Kingdom of the Netherlands during the two-game friendly series vs Samurai Japan. In his start, he did fairly well, like he had overcome the injury. Only in the fifth inning he started to struggle as he showed signs of fatigue, which lead to his removal by manager Hensley Meulens.
During his eight years in the Majors, Jurrjens pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles and the Colorado Rockies. Especially during his time with the Atlanta Braves, he was a promising pitcher. In 130 games, Jurrjens recorded 53 wins and 38 losses with an ERA of 3.72.
After a severe knee injury, Jurrjens is trying to fight his way back.
In the press release, it was also mentioned that Wladimir Balentien will join team KOTN, but unofficially this was known already as you could read here.
With Balentien and Jurrjens, there are two more players with MLB experience on the squad of manager Hensley Meulens. It remains to be seen where Balentien will play. There may be only two options. Left field or DH.
Jurrjens will join team Kingdom of the Netherlands during their spring training camp in Arizona, while Wladimir Balentien will prepare with his team, the Yakult Swallows.