If the Kingdom of the Netherlands will qualify for the championship round of the World Baseball Classic, the team can count on Kenley Jansen. The closer of the Los Angeles Dodgers confirmed his eventual participation.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands made a huge step towards the championship round by beating Cuba 14-1 earlier today. If Japan will beat Israel or Israel will beat Japan and score five runs at least, the Dutch will advance.
Just like four years ago, Kenley Jansen was placed in the designated pitcher pool because he preferred to prepare himself for the upcoming season with his club. But now the Dutch are close to qualifying for the championship round at Dodger Stadium, the 29-year old closer has confirmed his eventual participation. Also, the Dodgers have granted permission to participate with the Dutch team at his home stadium.
It remains to be seen, which player has to make room for the laureled closer.
Jansen received the Trevor Hoffman Reliever of the Year Award last season for being the best reliever in the National League. With an ERA of 1.83, Jansen converted 47 saves out of 53 opportunities. In 68.2 innings, Jansen allowed just 35 hits, walked 11 and limited his opponents to a batting average of .150. Jansen allowed less than a runner per inning on base (WHIP 0.67).
Four years ago, Jansen never got the chance to pitch for the Dutch as they fell to the Dominican Republic in the semi-final. The last time that the right-hander saw action for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was in 2009 during the World Championship that was played in the Netherlands. Earlier that year, Jansen still served as a catcher for the Dutch team during the World Baseball Classic.
Next to being awarded as the best reliever in the National League, Jansen broke two club records in 2016, as he bested Eric Gagné’s record of most career saves and recorded the most strikeouts by a Dodgers’ reliever.
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