LINCOLN, NE – The four members of the Lincoln Saltdogs who were a part of the Team Netherlands 2017 World Baseball team are returning to the capital city for the 2018 season. Infielder Curt Smith, right-handed pitcher Shairon Martis, catcher Dashenko Ricardo and outfielder Randolph Oduber have all re-signed with the Saltdogs.
All four of the players were on the team for the playoffs and the end of the regular season last year. In spring of 2017 the quartet of Caribbean players was on the roster for Team Netherlands, who lost in extra-innings to eventual-champion Puerto Rico in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. Smith, Martis and Ricardo are all from Curacao while Oduber is from Aruba. The islands are possessions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Smith, who signed on December 21st, rejoins the Saltdogs for his sixth season in Lincoln. The former University of Maine standout played for the ‘Dogs in 2011, ’13 and ’15-17. He has played in the fifth-most games in franchise history (394), has the second-most home runs (56) and the third-most hits (489). He hit .322 with 11 home runs and a team-high 62 RBIs in 2017.
Martis, who signed on January 16th, has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Saltdogs. The veteran righty has appeared in 26 MLB games over three different stints in ‘The League’. He was 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA over seven games with the Saltdogs last season. He started 2017 with Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate in the International League.
Ricardo, who signed on January 9th, was the Saltdogs’ primary catcher last season. He started 69 games and hit .270 with six home runs. The 27-year old was a 2017 mid-season all-star and instilled fear in baserunners across the league. Ricardo is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in independent baseball.
Oduber, who signed on January 4th, is coming off of arguably his best season as a pro. He led the Saltdogs in home runs with 17 blasts and was second on the team with 60 RBIs in 2017. The Aruba-native played all three outfield spots but spent the most time in right field.
The Saltdogs are the reigning Central Division Champions. The 18th season of Saltdogs baseball begins on Thursday, May 17th. For offseason information on the Saltdogs, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.