It was a perfect day to present some new players. With no games on Monday, the Yakult Swallows had all the time to present their newest (foreign) acquisitions. Next to Dutchie Rick van den Hurk, the club presented pitcher Cy Sneed, outfielder Domingo Santana and infielder José Osuna.
Pitcher Cy Sneed pitched two seasons in the majors (2019 and 2020) with the Houston Astros. Ouffielder Domingo Santana played (parts of) seven MLB seasons for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, and Cleveland Indians. First baseman José Osuna played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2017 through 2020. But for a Dutch baseball blog, the most important person is Dutchie Rick van den Hurk.
The tall Dutch right handed pitcher, broke into the Bigs in 2006 but spent most of his professional career in the US in the minors. In 2013 he moved to Korea to join the Samsun Lions and helped them winning two consecutive KBO championships. After his move to Japan in 2015, he won his first fourteen starts, a Japanese record for a rookie. During the six years, Rick was with the SoftBank Hawks, the club won the NPB championship in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.
During today’s press conference, Rick stated the following: “I would like to thank the team for preparing such a press conference. I want to get along with my new teammates and contribute to the team. (Current condition) The condition is perfect, and I think it was good to take a rest for a long time off compared to the usual year. I’m looking forward to playing in the starting lineup. (My strength, how I want to contribute) I want to earn as many innings as possible and play so that I can bring victory to the team. (Injured condition) I have been training so that I can throw powerfully even in the off-season. I want to continue training during the season so that I can pitch well. (Goal for this season) The goal is to contribute to the victory of the team. Personally, I want to pitch so the team can win. “(This text is translated from an original Japanese text on the website of the Yakult Swallows, so it is a bit of broken English).
As all four players come off a two-week quarantine period, it is very likely they will be sent to the minor league first to shake off the rust.