I've been back in Rotterdam, NL for the past 6 weeks getting back into the swing of things with my club Door Neptunus. For those of you who don't know about European baseball, every country has a league, all have different names, and Holland and Italy are the top 2 baseball caliber wise. This is my 3rd season playing for Door Neptunus in the Dutch 'Hoofdklasse' out of the past 4 years.
This year, like I said, we are stacked. Tons of talent, and so far, we're putting it to use. 3 of our 4 outfielders are on the national team, 4 of our 6 infielders are, and 3 of 4 starting pitchers are (the other is on the Australian national team). Oh, and our main catcher had to retire from the Oranje (national team) because of work issues. So, yeah... we have kicked off this season at a 16-1 mark so far. We have played well, played hard, had to battle for a few wins, but most of all have played good, fun baseball.
I don't think I've bloged about my release, but it wasn't anything special. Here's the story in a nutshell. There were a couple reasons why the Jays came to their decision to release me. First off, something I didn't see coming even though I knew it was going happen, happened. When the Jays traded Roy Halladay, their ace for the past 10 years, they didn't get a big league pitcher in return, only a couple minor league hitters and a minor league pitcher. Because he left, the starting rotation for the Jays was very weak, so they ended up signing about 20 triple-A caliber pitchers, and a few big league guys too, which is the part I didn't see coming. When those guys don't make the big league team out of spring training, they get shuffled down the system, as do all the pitchers below them because of that. I was in the unfortunate spot in double-A where there were 3-4 higher end bullpen prospects coming up from single-A, forming a bit of a pinch of the non-prospect double-A guys. It's kind of hard to explain, but teams take care of guys they have money invested in, and I wasn't one of those guys, after signing for 0$ just to get my shot. They have released all the guys that I was in the bullpen with last year now, except a couple of the prospects who came up later in the season. On the other hand, my walk total hurt me too. Throwing submarine wasn't my cup of tea, I could do it, but struggled mightily to hit the zone every time. My ERA wasn't bad for the minors, but again, my walk total hurt that. I gave up an average of 1 hit per inning which is, decent, and my strikeout total was decent, but I was in there to get groundballs, and I knew that. Well I guess that wasn't really in a nutshell, but it's a bit of a intricate story I guess.
It's all good though, I am happy to be where I'm at now, having fun with the boys back here, and I get the opportunity to play in 3 tournaments this summer and fall with the national team which is important to me.
this weekend we play Ado, a team from Den Haag, or 'the Hague', and I have the start on Sunday. Should be a good weekend, but we gotta come out ready!