Simmons opens season in Majors; Profar in Minors
ATLANTA, Georgia (USA) -
Short stop Andrelton Simmons, who played for the Dutch National Team during the recent World Baseball Classic, started the 2013 season in the 25-man Major League-roster of the Atlanta Braves.
On Monday-evening, April 1, he was the lead-off hitter and short stop for the Braves on Opening Day against the Phildelphia Phillies.
23-year old Andrelton Simmons last season played in 44 games for Mississippi Braves, the Double-A team of the Atlanta Braves.
He then was added to the big league-roster early June and made his debut on June 2 against the Washington Nationals, the team of Dutch Outfielder Roger Bernadina (who entered that game as a pinch-hitter).
Simmons played in 49 Major League-games and bated .289 with 48 basehits, including three homeruns.
On Monday-evening, Opening Day of the Major League-season, Simmons played in his 50th big league-game.
In the first inning, he popped up into foul territory in his first at bat.
In the third inning, Simmons led off with a double off of starter Cole Hamels.
Moments later, he scores on a single by Freddie Freeman, who hit a 2-run homerun in the first inning.
In the fourth inning, Simmons grounded out and then ended the sixth inning with another pop-fly.
The Braves won 7-5.
...Andrelton Simmons during the World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Short stop Jurickson Profar, who was with the Dutch Team in the semi-final of the Classic, was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday, one day before the start of the new season.
Profar, who turned 20 in February, is the top-prospect in the organisation of the Texas Rangers and had a shot of making the 25-man roster.
But it was decided to option him to Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of Texas, as he will be able to play everyday there.
Last season, Profar 126 games for Frisco RoughRiders in Double-A and was recalled to the Major-League-team of Texas early September.
He made his big league-debut on September 2 against Cleveland Indians and hit a homerun in his first Major League at bat.
In total, he went on to play in 23 games for the Rangers.
Dutch Outfielder Roger Bernadina began the season again on the Opening Day-roster of the Washington Nationals.
On Monday, in the first game against Miami Marlins, Bernadina didn't play.
Washington won 2-0, thanks to two homeruns by Bryce Harper and strong pitching by Stephen Strasburg, who threw seven shutout innings and retired 19 batters in a row.
Closer Kenley Jansen is another player from the Dutch WBC-roster who is on a Major League-roster.
He is with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he wasn't needed in the opening game against the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers won 4-0 and Clayton Kershaw went the distance against the Giants, where Dutch Manager Hensley Meulens of course is the Hitting Coach.
Pitcher Pedro Strop, who has a Dutch passport, but played for WBC-champion Dominican Republic is on the Opening Day-roster for the Baltimore Orioles, which opens the season on Tuesday against Tampa Bay Rays.
Two other Dutch players also start the season in the Minor League.
Short stop Jonathan Schoop, who is the top-prospect for the Baltimore Orioles, was sent to Norfolk Tides (AAA) on March 23.
Short stop Mariekson 'Didi' Gregorius was on the 40-man roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but was placed on the 15-day Disabled List on March 31 with a right elbow strain.
Two other Dutch players, who played in the Major League last year, are about to open their new season in Asia.
Outfielder Andruw Jones, who was with the Dutch Team during the Classic, opens on Tuesday in Japan with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles against Orix Buffaloes.
Righthanded pitcher Rick van den Hurk, who didn't play for the Orange squad in the Classic, opens the season in Korea next Friday with Samsung Lions against NC Dinos.
The tenth player with a Dutch passport last year in the Major League was pitcher Jair Jurrjens, who then pitched for the Atlanta Braves.
In Spring Training, Jurrjens was a non-roster invitee with the Baltimore Orioles.
He pitched in six games, started three, was 1-1 and earned one save.
But last Wednesday, Jurrjens was hit by a comeback-line drive in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees and sustained a rib contusion.
He is currently day-to-day and hasn't been assigned to a team yet.