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Updated: April 7, 2021
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

Carter Kieboom back in Major League-team Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC (USA) - Infielder Carter Kieboom is back with the Major League-team of Washington Nationals. In Spring Training, he was one of eleven players with a Dutch passport who played for a Major League-team. The third baseman was recalled on Tuesday (April 6) as one of nine added players due to some positive cases of the coronavirus in the team.

On March 27, five days before Opening Day, Kieboom was one of five players optioned to Rochester Red Wings, which is the Triple-A team of Washington. The Triple-A season opens on May 4. Kieboom was one of the players who were assigned to the Alternate Training Site, where a group of players remains in training and plays intersquad-games until the Minor League-season opens. In the meantime, they are available to be added to the Major League-squad. The Alternate Training Sites are located close to the Major League-club, making the players available on short notice. Only players in these locations are eligible to be added to a Major League-team until the Minor League-season begins. The Alternate Training Site of Washington is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which is the home of Fredericksburg Nationals, the club's team in Low-A.

Fredericksburg is located 53 miles (85 kilometers) south of Washington, DC.

Washington Nationals was scheduled to open the season on April 1 with a 3-game series at home against New York Mets. However, after completion of Spring Training, a player was Washington was tested positive with the coronavirus. After contact-tracing, four more players and a staff-member were to be in quanrantine on Opening Day. As not all results were in, it was decided to not only postpone the first game on Thursday, but also the games on Saturday and Sunday, as well as Monday's opening game against Atlanta Braves.

After contact-tracing was completed, there were four positive cases and five other players needed to be in quarantine. With that, these nine players, as well as an injured player (pitcher Will Harris), were not eligible to be on the 26-man roster of the team when it opened the season on Tuesday. Earlier on Tuesday, nine players were added from the team's Alternative Training Site, which included Kieboom.

In Tuesday-evening's game, Kieboom was inserted as pinch-hitter for pitcher Wander Suero in the bottom of the seventh inning with Atlanta leading 5-4. With two outs and Andrew Stevenson (one-out single) on first base, Kieboom faced lefthander Tyler Matzek, who had entered this inning in relief of Drew Smyly. Matzek needed eight pitches on Kieboom, who fouled off two. With a 2-2 count, Matzek threw a wild pitch, which moved Stevenson to second base. Hereafter, Kieboom walked, as did next batter Victor Robles, which led to a pitching change. Josh Tomlin took over and faced Trea Turner, who in 2012 participated with Team USA in the international Haarlem Baseball Week in Haarlem (Netherlands). Turner flied out and so, three runners were left behind.

In the top of the eighth inning, Kieboom was replaced by new pitcher and Suero's successor Kyle McGowin.

Atlanta had taken a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of starting pitcher Max Scherzer. The first pitch of the ace to lead-off hitter Ronald Acuņa, Jr. was a homerun. With one out, Freddie Freeman also homered. Atlanta added a run in the second inning, but Washington then scored twice. In the third, Atlanta made it a 4-2 score, but Washington came alongside, then Atlanta re-took the lead in the seventh.

In the bottom of the eighth, with one out, Andrew Stevenson hit an infield-hit with the bases loaded, which tied the score at 5-5.

In the bottom of the ninth, Atlanta-closer Will Smith took the mound, but he gave up a lead-off single to Victor Robles, then hit Trea Turner with a pitch. Juan Soto followed with a walk-off single that enabled Robles to score to give Washington a 6-5 Opening Day-victory.

With the addition of Kieboom, there are now eight players with a Dutch passport currently in the Major League. The others are Ozzie Albies (Atlanta Braves), Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox), Didi Gregorius (Philadelphia Phillies), Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers), Jurickson Profar (San Diego Padres), Jonathan Schoop (Detroit Tigers) and Andrelton Simmons (Minnesota Twins).

(April 6)

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