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Vanden Hurk a man of many languages

When it comes to communicating with his teammates, our newest pitcher doesn't have a problem.

One of the five languages Holland-born right-hander Rick Vanden Hurk speaks is Spanish. That's come in handy with new battery mate and native Dominican Olivo.

Olivo, who caught Vanden Hurk during a Grapefruit League game against the Orioles, didn't know he spoke Spanish. Now they're just as a likely to conduct their in-game banter in Spanish as they are English.

"I think he was surprised," said Vanden Hurk, adding that being paired with Olivo in his spring outing was a benefit last Tuesday, when he made his major league debut. "That helped me a lot because he knows me. He knows what I got, what my best pitches are."

In addition to Dutch, Vanden Hurk also speaks German and can get by with his French. He picked up most of his Spanish rooming with Venezuelan and Dominican players during his four minor league seasons.