If Kenley Jansen pitches for the Netherlands on Monday or Tuesday in the World Baseball Classic semifinals or finals in San Francisco, he may be throwing the ball to a future teammate. The Dodgers on Sunday confirmed the signing of Netherlands catcher Dashenko Ricardo to a minor league contract.
Ricardo, 23, hit .253/.268/.333 in 47 games for low Class-A Norwich in the Giants system in 2012. He was born in Willemstad, the capital of Curacao, the same birth city as Jansen.
Ricardo has played in all seven games for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, and is hitting .211 (4-for-19) with two walks during the tournament.
Jansen was the catcher for the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and made a name for himself with his arm behind the plate. Because Jansen wasn't much of a hitter, the Dodgers converted him to the mound in 2010, and he was in the major leagues by 2011.
Perhaps a similar path could be in store for Ricardo, who has hit .229/.262/.300 in six minor league campaigns in the Orioles and Giants systems, and has never advanced higher than advanced Class-A. Jansen hit .229/.310/.337 in seven minor league seasons behind the plate.
Ricardo, Jansen, and The Netherlands play the Dominican Republic, with Hanley Ramirez, on Monday night at 6 p.m. PT at AT&T Park. They play the winner of Sunday night's game between Japan and Puerto Rico, featuring Dodgers minor league pitchers Andres Santiago and Mario Santiago, in the championship game on Tuesday night at 5 p.m. PT.