Kirk Nieuwenhuis is eligible to play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, but might not due to his recovery from the foot injury which ended his 2012 season early, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Morosi notes that Nieuwenhuis’ foot is fully healed.
In early August, Nieuwenhuis was placed on the Bisons disabled list with a torn plantar fascia in his foot, and did not play for the rest of the year.
Michael Baron, ContributorAs of now, Nieuwenhuis is slated to be the team’s centerfielder on Opening Day. He hit just .180 with 26 strikeouts in 73 at-bats against left-handed pitching before his demotion, and struck out a total of 98 times in 314 plate appearances overall. Clearly, Nieuwenhuis has a lot of work to do, and I can’t believe he is a lock for anything after last season. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Den Dekker gets a long look during camp as an alternative. However, while Den Dekker is a fantastic defensive centerfielder, he is also left-handed, has a tendency to strikeout a lot, and might need more seasoning at Triple-A before being ready.