The head coach of the Dutch Baseball National Team Rod Delmonico cut down the roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic from 48 players to 37 on Thursday. The Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation announced the list in a press release. 32 of them will travel to Bradenton, Florida next Tuesday to start training camp at the Pittsburgh Pirates facilities. The five players from Major League 40-man rosters Jair Jurrjens (ATL), Rick Van Den Hurk (FLA), Shairon Martis (WAS), Hainley Statia (LAA) and Gregory Halman (SEA) will join them at the latest on March 1st. They will practice with their Major League teams until then.
Rogier van Zorn of the Dutch Honkbalsite points out that outfielder Roger Bernadina of the Washington Nationals is not on the list, as he decided to focus on Spring Training with his employer, instead of playing in the WBC. There he has to fight against Willie Harris, Josh Willingham, Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes, Austin Kearns, Corey Patterson and Wily Mo Pena for a spot on the opening day roster.
On Thursday the Nats added another potential opponent for two years and $20 million in Adam Dunn. He is supposed to play first base during the 2009 season. However if manager Manny Acta goes with defense, he might chooses Nick Johnson for first base and moves Dunn also into the outfield, though this is unlikely at this point of the year.
Also not on the Dutch WBC roster anymore are pitcher Mike Bolsenbroek from the Philadelphia Phillies, who played for the German champion BUCHBINDER LEGIONAERE last season, Jos De Jong, Kenny Berkenbosch (both L&D AMSTERDAM), Jeroen Sluijter, Raily Legito (both DOOR NEPTUNUS) and Tjerk Smeets (CORENDON KINHEIM).
Dennis Neuman (BOS), Dashenko Ricardo (BAL), Sharlon Schoop (SF) and Curth Smith (STL), which are all playing in the minor leagues at the Rookie and Single-A level could make their debut for the Dutch National Team in Florida and Puerto Rico. Also on board right from the start in training camp is free agent starting pitcher Sidney Ponson. The 32-year-old hasn’t found a new team yet and will use the World Baseball Classic to audition for a new job.
The team is playing three exhibitions without the five Major Leaguers against the Eckerd College (2/21), a Korean professional team (2/22) and the South Florida University (2/24). On February 24th Delmonico and his coaching staff, which has a new member in Ben Thijssen, have to reduce the roster to 28 players, including at least 13 pitchers. Between March 3rd and 5th they will three warm ups against the MLB teams Pirates, Reds and Twins, before starting into the World Baseball Classic on March 7th versus the Dominican Republic.
Complete 37-Man Roster:
David Bergman (Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd (DOOR Neptunus), Rob Cordemans (Sparta/Feyenoord), Dave Draijer (MediaMonks RCH), Berry van Driel (DOOR Neptunus), Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta Braves), Michiel van Kampen (Corendon Kinheim), Diegomar Markwell (DOOR Neptunus), Shairon Martis (Washington Nationals), Dennis Neuman (Boston Red Sox), Sidney Ponson (no club), Alexander Smit (Cincinnati Reds), Nick Stuifbergen (L&D Amsterdam), Tom Stuifbergen (Minnesota Twins), Juan Carlos Sulbaran (Cincinnati Reds), Pim Walsma (L&D Amsterdam)
Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers), Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam), Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus), Dashenko Ricardo (Baltimore Orioles)
Sharnol Adriana (Rojos del Aguilla de Veracruz), Yurendell De Caster (Washington Nationals), Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Percy Isenia (Sparta/Feyenoord), Dwayne Kemp (Chicago Cubs), Vince Rooi (L&D Amsterdam), Sharlon Schoop (Los Angeles Dodgers), Randall Simon (Newark Bears), Curt Smith (St. Louis Cardinals), Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels)
Bryan Engelhardt (Corendon Kinheim), Gregory Halman (Seattle Mariners), Eugene Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus), Dirk van ‘t Klooster (Corendon Kinheim), Danny Rombley (Corendon Kinheim), Kalian Sams (Seattle Mariners)
Manager: Rod Delmonico
Pitching Coach: Bert Blyleven
Bullpen Coach: Jim Stoeckel
Assistant Coaches: Bill Froberg, Wim Martinus, Hensley Meulens, Ben Thijssen