PC: MLB Properties
Pre-season moves are underway across European softball and baseball. Gonny Farley has been appointed general manager of the Netherlands national softball team, Devery Van De Keere is the new head coach for the Cologne Cardinals and former big league reliever Eduardo Sanchez has joined ASD Parma.
Gonny Farley, who both played for, and was head coach of, the Dutch team in 1994-1996 and 2002-2004 respectively, took up her post on January 1st. Previously she was head coach at Alcmaria Victrix, where she steered the club to its first national title in 2012. According to the Dutch Federation (KNBSB), her main objective is to prepare the teams for a medal run at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Gonny is now responsible for both the senior and junior national teams, as well as oversight of the new national training center.
Cologne's new coach is a former minor leaguer for the Kansas City Royals. Devery Van De Keere, 31, is a Canadian national with a Belgian grandfather. He has played for Austria’s Dornbirn Indians and has coached as an MLB Envoy and for the Austrian Baseball Federation. The Cardinals finished last season in sixth place in the Bundesliga North, last winning the league title in 1990.
27 year-old right-hander Eduardo Sanchez is a native of Venezuela. Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a non-drafted free agent in 2005, by 2009 he was rated as one of the organization’s top prospects. In his debut season in 2011 he posted a 3-1 record with a 1.80 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 30 innings. On his career, which also included a brief spell with the Chicago Cubs, he had a 3.68 ERA, with over nine strikeouts but also averaged nearly six walks per nine innings pitched. After being released by the Detroit Tigers in 2014, he underwent Tommy John surgery in early 2015. Sanchez made his comeback last year with Bravos de Margarita in Venezuela’s Winter League.
ASD Parma Baseball Operations Chief Maurizio Renaud said. "He has pitched relief for most of his career but will work on resistance in the coming months so that he can start and give us 6-7 innings every week.”
Sanchez told baseballEBM, "I was at the Carlos Guillen Baseball Academy working on my return in 2016. I am very excited to play in Italy this season. It is a great challenge for me on my return."