While the likes of Ike Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, Kiké Hernandez, Sergio Romo, Rob Segedin and Alex Verdugo left the Los Angeles Dodgers this spring to participate in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Kenley Jansen and Julio Urias remained in camp at Camelback Ranch.
Both were included on the designated pitcher pool — Jansen for Netherlands, and Urias for Mexico — which made them eligible to be added to the active roster in future rounds. Mexico was eliminated in the first round, albeit in controversial fashion, while Netherlands advanced.
Whereas Urias expressed some disappointment in not joining his Dodgers teammates on the Team Mexico roster, Jansen stuck with his decision to forgo participating in the international tournament.
However, he recently backtracked from the stance, ever so slightly, revealing he would consider pitching for Netherlands should they reach the championship round.
That has come to fruition, and Jansen will join his fellow countrymen at Dodger Stadium, according Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Kenley Jansen said he will pitch in the WBC for The Netherlands.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 15, 2017
Netherlands went 2-1 in Pool A at Gocheok Sky Dome in South Korea, finishing behind undefeated Israel. Both countries advanced to Pool E in Tokyo, where Netherlands finished 2-1, to advance with Japan (3-0) to the WBC semifinals.
On Monday, Netherlands will face the winner of Pool F at Dodger Stadium. Puerto Rico currently leads that bracket with a 1-0 record. Jansen last participated in the WBC in 2009, when he was still a young catcher.
Should Netherlands reach the WBC final, that will be played on March 22, meaning even with his inclusion, Jansen will not yet pitch in back-to-back games this spring. Having appeared in three Cactus League games thus far, Jansen has allowed three runs on six hits in 2.2 innings, with one walk and one strikeout.