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Updated: February 22, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Final WBC-roster Dutch Team announced
TAICHUNG (Taiwan) - Manager Hensley Meulens and his coachingstaff have compiled the final roster of 28 players for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Final rosters had to be handed in at Major League Baseball on Wednesday, February 20.

On January 17, a provisional roster for each of the 16 participating countries was announced, but teams had until Wednesday to make changes.

Eight of the players who were listed on the provisional roster of the Dutch Team in January are not part of the final roster. One of them is injured catcher Shawn Zarraga (Milwaukee Brewers) who already was replaced by Dashenko Ricardo (San Francisco Giants). The other seven players are pitchers Bayron Cornelisse (Vaessen Pioniers), Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers), Jair Jurrjens (Baltimore Orioles), Juan Carlos Sulbaran (Kansas City Royals), catcher Spencer Kieboom (Washington Nationals) and infielders Jurickson Profar and Nick Urbanus (both Texas Rangers). Jansen, Jurrjens, Profar and Sulbaran were not with the team in the training camp in Arizona.

Replacing these seven players are LHP Jonathan Balentina, RHP Leon Boyd, RHP Kevin Heijstek, LHP Mark Pawelek, catchers Quintin de Cuba and Bas Nooij and infielder Michael Duursma.

Included in the final roster are now nine players, who are currently on rosters for Dutch big league-teams. These players are David Bergman, Quintin de Cuba (both Corendon Kinheim), Rob Cordemans, Michael Duursma, Kevin Heijstek, Bas Nooij (all L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Berry van Driel, Diegomar Markwell and Orlando Yntema (all DOOR Neptunus). On the provisional roster, six players (all pitchers) came from the Dutch big league. But now three position players are joining them with the addition of De Cuba, Duursma and Nooij. With this, L&D Amsterdam Pirates has three more players on the Dutch roster. Besides pitcher Rob Cordemans, the others are Duursma, Heijstek and Nooij.

All added players, except catcher Quintin de Cuba, were with the National Team during its preparations for the WBC in Arizona since February 10.

Two of the added players are relatively unknown, being Jonathan Balentina and Mark Pawelek.

In 2012, lefthanded reliever Jonathan Balentina pitched in 16 games (3 starts) for the Black Bears, the baseball-team of the University of Maine and was 3-2 with a 7.06 ERA and 23 strikeouts. In the 2011 season, he started four of 17 games he pitched in and was 3-1 with a 5.31 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 42 1/3 inning. After the 2012 season in June, Balentina was named to the America East All-Academic Team. For his impressive academic results, Balentina earned several awards, including the Presidential Achievement Award of the University of Maine. Before coming to Maine, Balentina was 6-1 with a 2.43 ERA for Santa Maria Pirates in the Curaçao Baseball League in 2007. Santa Maria was champion of Curaçao in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Balentina missed the 2010 season due to a medical redshirt, but later in the year participated with the Netherlands Antilles in the Central American and Caribbean Games.

26-year old lefthander Mark Pawelek plays professionally since 2005, but is currently without a club. In that year, the American-born Pawelek began his professional career with the Chicago Cubs, where he played until the 2008 season. In that period, Pawelek played mostly in Single-A Short Season and Rookie League, but reached Single-A in 2007. In 2009, he played in Single-A Advanced in the organisation of the Cincinnati Reds, where he was 0-2, appearing in 18 games, all as a reliever. In 2010, he pitched in three games for Gateway Grizzlies in the Independent Frontier League. In six professional seasons, Pawelek is 6-15 with a 4.33 ERA and 176 strikeouts in 185 innings.

The Dutch Team traveled to Taichung in Taiwan on Wednesday and left Arizona right on time, as snow covered the fields the next day when a winter storm hit the area. In the upcoming days, the team will play four more exhibition games before the start of the World Baseball Classic. In Taiwan, the team will be joined by the professional players, who were not in the training camp in Arizona. These players are Wladimir Balentien, Roger Bernadina, Xander Bogaerts, Andruw Jones, Shairon Martis, Jonathan Schoop and Andrelton Simmons. Dwayne Kemp is with the team as an alternate. Teams are allowed to make one roster-move before the start of the tournament in case of injuries.

The finale WBC-roster is as follows:

Pitchers (13):
Jonathan Balentina (University of Maine Black Bears/Baltimore Orioles), David Bergman (Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd (Burnaby Bulldogs, Canada), Rob Cordemans, Kevin Heijstek (both L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Berry van Driel, Diegomar Markwell, Orlando Yntema (all DOOR Neptunus), Jonatan Isenia (Baltimore Orioles), Shairon Martis, Tom Stuifbergen (both Minnesota Twins), Loek van Mil (Cincinnati Reds) and Mark Pawelek (no club).

Catchers (3):
Quintin de Cuba (Corendon Kinheim), Bas Nooij (L&D Amsterdam Pirates) and Dashenko Ricardo (Free Agent, San Francisco Giants in 2012).

Infielders (7):
Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox), Yurendell de Caster (Winnipeg Goldeyes, Independent League), Michael Duursma (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Jonathan Schoop (Baltimore Orioles), Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves), Curt Smith (Free Agent, Miami Marlins in 2012) and Hainley Statia (Milwaukee Brewers).

Outfielders (5):
Wladimir Balentien (Yakult Swallows, Japan), Roger Bernadina (Washington Nationals), Andruw Jones (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Japan), Randolph Oduber (Baltimore Orioles) and Kalian Sams (Seattle Mariners).

The staff looks like this:

Coaching Staff:
Hensley Meulens (Manager), Brian Farley (Bench Coach), Ben Thijssen (1B Coach), Wim Martinus (3B Coach), Tjerk Smeets (Hitting Coach), Bert Blyleven (Pitching Coach), Steve Janssen (Bullpen Coach).

Supporting Staff:
Pepijn van Ingen (Physical Therapist), Ton Meiresonne (Equipment Manager), Peter Meijers (Team Manager), Duco Abspoel (Media Officer), Robert Eenhoorn (Technical Director).

(February 22)

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