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Updated: February 25, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen, Aberdeen IronBirds & Frederick Keys)

Baltimore adds two Curaçao-players for Spring Training-game

CLEARWATER / SARASOTA / JUPITER / WEST PALM BEACH, Florida / MESA / SUPRISE / GOODYEAR, Arizona (USA) - Two more Dutch players were in Major League Spring Training-camp on Saturday (February 24), as the Baltimore Orioles added two Curaçao-born players to its squad earlier in the day. They were infielder Kirvin Moesquit and outfielder Ademar Rifaela, which brings the total to thirteen. Both also made their debut today.

It is common in the early days of the Spring Training-season that Minor League-players will be added to have additional players available besides the players who are on the 40-man roster and the non-roster players. There are several reasons to add extra players, including injuries, players who are having workouts and are not available for a game, but also to give such a player the opportunity to gain experience by being at a Spring Training-game. It is also done when a team has two games scheduled to be played by a so-called 'split squad'. Regulars are then spread over two teams with the addition of non-roster players and added Minor League-players. Mostly, these added players are prospects and they get into action enabling him to show their abilities. On Saturday, one Oriole-team played against Philadelphia Phillies and another one against Minnesota Twins.

Jonathan Schoop, also from Curaçao, and the regular second baseman of the Orioles, was scheduled to start in the opening game on Friday, but he was scratched shortly before the game. It was reported that Schoop, who after last season won the Team MVP Award, has bursitis in his left elbow, possibly due to bumping it somewhere. It also was reported that the injury probably was minor, which was correct, as he played his first game today. Last year, Schoop played in his first All Star Game.

On Saturday, the following players from the Netherlands Kingdom played: Ozzie Albies, Spencer Kieboom, Kirvin Moesquit, Jurickson Profar, Ademar Rifaela, Jonathan Schoop, Chadwick Tromp and Shawn Zarraga.

(February 24)

Related Article:
First Dutch players in action in Major League Spring Training. (February 23)
Major League Spring Training-season opens. (February 21)

At Clearwater, the first split-squad of the Baltimore Orioles to get into action today lost 9-6 in the afternoon to the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field, the Spring Training-home of the Phillies. Trailing 1-0, the Phillies rallied for five runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a decisive lead. After six innings, the Phils led 6-2, then the O's narrowed the deficit to 6-5 by scoring a run in the seventh and adding two in the eighth. But in the bottom of the eighth, Philadelphia scored three more runs. Baltimore outhit Philadelphia, 13-12.

...Kirvin Moesquit & Ademar Rifaela...
(© Photos: Aberdeen IronBirds
& Frederick Keys)
In the top of the eighth of this game, with the Phillies leading 6-4, the Orioles had T.J. Nichting as runner on third base and two outs. Moments earlier, Nichting had brought in the fourth Oriole-run with a double. He then scored himself on a single by Anthony Santander. After the latter arrived at first base, he was replaced by Kirvin Moesquit, who made his Major League Spring Training-debut. Moesquit stranded on first base, as the inning ended with a strikeout. Moesquit stayed in the game and became the new designated hitter, but didn't got an at bat. Also making his Spring Training-debut was Ryan Ripken, the son of legendary 'Iron Man' Cal Ripken, Jr..

Also in the top of the eighth, there was an apparent severe injury to third baseman Will Middlebrooks. DJ Stewart led off for the Orioles and hit a pop-fly behind third base in short leftfield. Middlebrooks and leftfielder Andrew Pullin both tried to catch the ball and collided. Middlebrooks ankle got caught under Pullin and had to be carted off the field.

At Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the second game of the Orioles, playing at home, ended in an 1-1 tie in nine innings against Minnesota Twins. The visitors opened the score in the second inning, then Baltimore came alongside in the seventh at bat on a homerun from Austin Wynns.

...Jonathan Schoop...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In this game, Jonathan Schoop started at second base for Baltimore, batted second and was 0-for-3.

Schoop grounded out in the first and third inning In the bottom of the fifth, the Orioles had the bases loaded with two outs, resulting in a pitching change. Schoop then was the hitter and faced Tom Hackimer, who struck him out to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh inning, Schoop was replaced by Jomar Reyes as second baseman.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Matt Magill became the new pitcher for Minnesota. With one out, he gave up a single to Ryan McKenna. Hereafter, Ademar Rifaela entered the game as pinch-hitter for Aderlin Rodriguez and singled in his first Spring Training-at bat! Magill followed with a strikeout, then the runners advanced on a wild pitch, but another strikeout then ended the inning and the game.

Last year, 22-year old Kirvin Moesquit (he wore number 9 today) played for Aberdeen IronBirds in Single-A Short Season for the Orioles. The switch-hitter, who plays professionally since 2015, played in 61 games and batted .276 (58-for-210) with 29 stolen bases and 17 runs batted in.

23-year old Ademar Rifaela (wearing number 2) also played in Single-A last season, but at the Advanced-level, as he played for Frederick Keys. The lefthanded hitting outfielder batted .284 (128-for-450) with 23 doubles and 24 homeruns, scored 73 runs and batted in 78. Rifaela plays professionally since 2013.

For both, this is the first time that they participate in Major League Spring Training.

At Jupiter, Washington Nationals lost 3-2 to Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, which is the Spring Training-home of both the Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. Chevrolet was added to the stadium's name officially on Friday after the Marlins and Cardinals agreed to naming rights for a 10-year period. Washington led twice in the game (1-0 and 2-1), but Miami came alongside both times. The Marlins then scored what would be the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a grounder from Magneuris Sierra.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Spencer Kieboom entered the game as new first baseman, replacing José Marmolejos. The son of former Dutch big league-catcher Alswinn Kieboom got his lone at bat in the top of the ninth inning. He then led off and grounder out.

Kieboom made his Major League-debut in 2016 when he played in one game for the Nationals. He then walked once and scored a run. Last year, the catcher played mostly in Triple-A.

At West Palm Beach, Atlanta Braves suffered a 6-1 loss at Houston Astros at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Leading 2-0, Houston rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take more distance. Atlanta scored its lone run in the top of the eighth inning.

Ozzie Albies started as second baseman for the Braves and was the lead-off hitter. After leading off with a basehit in Friday's game, Albies did the same in today's game and was 1-for-3. Ray-Patrick Didder didn't play for the Braves today.

In the top of the first inning, Albies opened with a basehit off of starter Collin McHugh, but was left behind, as the next three hitters struckout out. In the third inning, Albies struckout himself when he faced new pitcher David Paulino. In the fifth inning, Albies lined out to centerfield.

In the bottom of the fifth, Albies was replaced by Alay Lago, who took over at second base.

At Mesa, Texas Rangers played its first Spring Training-game and lost 6-1 at Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park. Texas took an 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but Chicago answered with three runs in the fourth, the first two on back-to-back homeruns by Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras. The Cubs added two more runs in the sixth to turn the game its way.

...Jurickson Profar...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Jurickson Profar was the starting short stop for the Rangers and batted third in the line-up. He batted 1-for-2.

In the top of the first inning, with two outs, Profar singled off of starter Eddie Butler. Hereafter, he was left behind, as a groundout followed.

With one out in the third at bat, Rougned Odor singled and advanced on a grounder from Profar, but then also stranded.

In the top of the sixth inning, Profar was replaced by pinch-hitter Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who also took over as short stop.

Last year, Profar played in only 22 Major League-games for the Rangers and batted .172 (10-for-58). In 2016, the infielder played in 90 games after returning from an injury that had sidelined him for two years.

...Shawn Zarraga...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Surprise, a split-squad of Los Angeles Dodgers lost 8-4 at Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium, which is shared Spring Training home-stadium of the Royals and Texas Rangers. Trailing 1-0, the Dodgers scored twice in the top of the second inning, but the Royals also scored two runs in its second at bat. Los Angeles came alongside in the fourth, but Kansas City then added three runs in the fifth and sixth inning combined. Leading 6-4, the Royals scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Shawn Zarraga entered the game as catcher, replacing Will Smith. At that moment, the Royals led 5-3, but added a run when Adalberto Mondesi led off with a homerun.

In the top of the seventh, Matt Beatty homered for the Dodgers, but that accounted for the last run of the team.

In the ninth inning, Zarraga got his lone at bat. He faced Tim Hill and struckout.

...Chadwick Tromp...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Goodyear, the home-playing Cincinnati Reds lost 11-4 to Colorado Rockies at Goodyear Ballpark. Cincinnati took an 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but Colorado came alongside in the second and went on to lead 6-1 after five innings. The Rockies then rallied for five more runs in the seventh. Trailing 11-1, the Reds scored a run in the bottom of the seventh and two more in the ninth.

In the top of the ninth inning, Chadwick Tromp (wearing number 82) replaced Tony Cruz and became the third catcher in the game for Cincinnati. He caught Zack Weiss, who began with two strikeouts. The second strikeout was completed by Tromp with a throw to first base.

In the bottom of the ninth, Rosell Herrera hit a 2-run homerun for the Reds with one out. Tromp could have had an at bat in this inning, but the next two hitters were eliminated.

It was the first Spring Training-game for the 22-year old Tromp since making his debut in 2016 when he played in one game for Cincinnati.

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