Ponson to pitch for Netherlands in WBC

Updated: January 29, 2009, 11:14 AM ET
Reuters

Sidney Ponson will pitch for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, the first major league player to confirm his participation for the nation in the event, officials said Thursday.

The 32-year-old right-hander, a native of Aruba, was 8-5 with a 5.04 ERA last season with the New York Yankees.

Currently a free agent, Ponson spent most of his 11 years in the majors with the Baltimore Orioles, but also played for San Francisco, St. Louis, Minnesota and Texas.

Netherlands-born Bert Blyleven, who played 22 years in the big leagues, will be a pitching coach for the Netherlands, Major League Baseball said in a statement.

In the first round of the WBC, which will be played in March, the Netherlands will compete against the Dominican Republic, Panama and Puerto Rico.

The semifinals and final of the event will take place March 21-23 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.