Results tagged ‘ World Baseball Classic ’

Monday starter uncertain

Scratch Burke Badenhop off the list of potential starting pitchers for Monday night at San Diego.

After tossing two innings, and being tagged with the loss, on Friday night against the Phillies, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez ruled out using Badenhop in the series opener with the Padres at PETCO Park.

“We probably wouldn’t use Badenhop,” Gonzalez said.

The next option could be Rick VandenHurk, who is at Triple-A New Orleans. A decision is expected on Sunday.

VandenHurk has big league experience, but he has yet to pitch for Florida this season. He opened the year on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. He pitched in the World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands.

VandenHurk has enjoyed success at New Orleans, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.77 ERA in nine starts. The right-hander last pitched on Thursday, but his outing was cut short to three innings, which basically means it was a tuneup to be ready to go on Monday.

— Joe Frisaro


Amezaga remains upbeat

In Alfredo Amezaga’s mind, being ready for the season opener is possible.

Whether he meets that April 6 time line remains to be seen. But there is a lot of encouragement the his left knee will be healthy.

“For me, I want to play today,” Amezaga said after he took swings in the batting cage. “I’ve got to wait for Sean. He knows better than me, and whether I’ll be alright before Opening Day.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez didn’t rule out Amezaga being in the mix to be on the first-game roster.

“We’re still going to take it step-by-step,” Gonzalez said. “We’ll see where we go from there.”

Amezaga hit flips in the batting cage on Monday, marking his third straight day of swinging the bat. He’s also fielding ground balls.

The all-purpose Amezaga sprained his left knee while playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. The prognosis was four to six weeks of recovery time was needed.

Amezaga said he will test the knee running on Monday. When he starts playing in games, he says he will need about four games total to be ready for the season.

— Joe Frisaro

Lindstrom progressing

If all continues to go well, Matt Lindstrom will throw for five minutes off the mound on Friday. The team hasn’t ruled out the hard-throwing right-hander being ready by Opening Day.

Lindstrom is recovering from a right rotator cuff strain that he sustained during the World Baseball Classic. The projected Florida closer began throwing off flat ground on Monday.

The plan is to build him up to throw for five minutes off the mound on Friday. From there, he likely will throw to hitting in live batting practice before he gets back into the game. It will be about a week before he is expected to be in game situations.

— Joe Frisaro

Pudge and Miguel

Former teammates who shared a World Series championship together in 2003 got together before Monday night’s game between Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera shared a few words during batting practice. They posed for pictures and shared some thoughts.

Cabrera was a rookie for the Marlins in 2003, and Rodriguez was a standout catcher. On Monday night, they were competitors. Cabrera plays for Venezuela and Pudge is on the Puerto Rican squad.

“Cabrera is a nice guy, and he’s a good friend of mine,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a great hitter. He’s got big future. He’s done a lot now.”

Cabrera has emerged into an elite performer since his rookie season.

The two were teammates for a while in Detroit last year before Pudge was dealt to the Yankees.

“He’s a very smart hitter,” Pudge said.

Actually, three former players from Florida’s 2003 title team were in the park. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez with the Reds, made the trip from Sarasota to Miami to watch his native country, Venezuela.

Rodriguez took a few seconds to talk about Cabrera on Monday, a day where he has reached tentative agreement on a contract with the Astros.

I asked him if he is capable of playing 130 games like he did in the past.

He smiled and replied: “No comment.”

Considering he has incentives in his reported $1.5 million contract with the Astros, that number may meet an incentive.

— Joe Frisaro

Lindstrom strained rotator cuff

Matt Lindstrom has a strained right rotator cuff, an MRI revealed on Monday.

Lindstrom experienced soreness in his right shoulder on Sunday night while pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. He is on a no-throw scheduled for seven-to-10 days, and he’s out of the Classic.

— Joe Frisaro

Pudge's market opening up

For the first time since winning the World Series in 2003, Pudge Rodriguez was back at Dolphin Stadium on Friday. The 37-year-old catcher playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic was in high demand.

Pudge addressed his chances of signing with the Marlins, and he noted that “communication” has been on-going with the team and his agent, Scott Boras. Pudge added that he wants to play, and he would be open to seeing some action at either first base or third base.

Clearly, playing time is part of the equation. With John Baker as the Marlins starter, Rodriguez would have to compete for his playing time. Nothing is guaranteed, but he would be hard pressed to find a starting job anywhere else.

Jon Heyman of reports on Friday night that the Giants and Twins also are interested in Pudge, joining the Marlins and Astros.

The Marlins are monitoring Rodriguez closely at the World Baseball Classic. The team is strongly considering signing him.

An 18-year veteran, Rodriguez has 2,605 career hits. He would like to reach 3,000, and to do so, obviously, he would need to play a few more seasons and see ample playing time.

His fit with the Marlins this year would be similar in some ways to 2003. Back then, he didn’t have much interest elsewhere, and both sides profited by his arrival. Rodriguez helped Florida win a World Series title, and he made himself marketable enough for a four-year, $40 million contract with Detroit.

If he signed with the Marlins this year, it again would be a one-year deal to position himself for a multiyear contract beginning in 2010.

— Joe Frisaro

Amezaga out 4-6 weeks

A left knee sprain will keep versatile Alfredo Amezaga out four-to-six weeks.

Amezaga was examined in Miami on Tuesday by Dr. Lee Kaplan. The injury occurred while Amezaga was playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. On Sunday night, Amezaga went 2-for-5 against Australia. After the game, he felt stiffness in his left knee.

He returned to Miami on Monday, and saw the doctor on Tuesday.

With Amezaga out, Robert Andino and Emilio Bonifacio are candidates to fill his role as a all-purpose ultility player.

— Joe Frisaro


Camping out Monday

What is going on Monday:

* The streak ended at 11 2/3 innings. One of Josh Johnson’s goals this spring was to not issue a walk. He almost did it. With two outs in the fifth inning, he walked Dusty Ryan. Johnson entered Monday night having gone through seven innings without issuing a free pass. The streak continued into the fourth innings against the Tigers. But with the count full to Ryan Raburn, Johnson struck Raburn on the hand. So he hit a batter before walking him. Johnson ran the count full to the next batter he faced, Jeff Larish. But he struck out Larish looking.

* Chris Volstad will start on Wednesday against the Cardinals. Anibal Sanchez will throw a simulated game on Wednesday.

* Alfredo Amezaga is returning from the World Baseball Classic after experiencing stiffness in his left knee on Sunday night. Amezaga went 2-for-5 with a home runs for Mexico in their 17-7 loss to Australia. Amezaga will be examined by Marlins physicians on Tuesday.

* Matt Lindstrom’s first pitch in relief for Team USA on Sunday night against Venezuela was clocked at 100 mph.

“He looked pretty good,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “That breaking ball looked good. That fastball command was outstanding. … I was real proud of him. To pitch in that kind of environment and keep his composure.”

* Andrew Miller is slated to throw a simulated game on Tuesday.

* Lefty reliever Taylor Tankersley threw like his of old when he struck out two and threw with authority in a one-two-three seventh inning. Renyel Pinto struck out the side in order in the sixth. And Dan Meyer stepped up with a scoreless eighth. The three lefties are in the mix for two relief jobs.

* Right fielder Brett Carroll ran into foul territory and made a terrific catch near the seats. After catching the drive by Placido Polanco, Carroll made an amazing turn and throw to third base. His throw sailed on a fly directly to third base, preventing Alex Avila from tagging and moving to third.

“Sometimes you just throw and let your instincts take over,” Carroll said. 

— Joe Frisaro

Amezaga tweaks left knee

Alfredo Amezaga is returning to South Florida from the World Baseball Classic after he experienced stiffness in his left knee during Sunday night’s game.

Playing center field for Mexico, Amezaga went 2-for-5 with a home run for Mexico in their 17-7 loss to Australia.

Amezaga has been playing center field for Mexico.

He will be evaluated by Marlins physicians on Tuesday. Before heading to the Classic, Amezaga tweaked his right knee, but he was cleared to compete for his country.

— Joe Frisaro

Soggy Wednesday

Soggy conditions didn’t set back some of the Marlins’ morning drills on Wednesday.

It remains unseasonally chilly in Jupiter, and making the conditions more uncomfortable in the morning were the rain.

Still, the exhibition with the Italian World Baseball Classic team is on. The Marlins were doing drills on the back fields and the main field at Roger Dean Stadium late in the morning.

— Joe Frisaro