03/01/2013 4:40 PM ET
Alvarez continues to pound the strike zone
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- Henderson Alvarez continues to pound the strike zone. But on Friday, being around the plate resulted in him getting hit a bit.
Alvarez gave up three runs on six hits against the Twins in an 8-7 loss at Roger Dean Stadium.
The right-hander has made two Grapefruit League starts. In both of them, he threw plenty of strikes. On Friday, 27 of his 39 pitches were strikes. It followed up tossing 19 of 22 pitches for strikes against the Nationals his last time out.
"I felt fine," Alvarez said. "All of my pitches are where I want, and I feel like I'm ready for the World Baseball Classic."
On Sunday, Alvarez will be joining Team Venezuela in preparation for the Classic.
Former Marlin Anibal Sanchez is scheduled to be Venezuela's ace, while Alvarez could be the No. 2 starter, although he has not yet been told.
Alvarez likes Venezuela's chances.
"I feel like Venezuela is the best team and should be the team to beat," he said. "It's going to be a great honor for me. It's the first time I've represented my country in baseball and its going to bring me a lot of joy to do that and play alongside some of my countrymen and stars of the game."
Redmond, Gardenhire share mutual respect
JUPITER, Fla. -- In his five years playing in Minnesota, Mike Redmond observed how Ron Gardenhire always had his players' backs.
Redmond remains grateful that Gardenhire had the faith to bat him third when All-Star Joe Mauer would get a day off or missed time due to injury. The decision wasn't popular, but when put in the prime spot, Redmond produced, batting .341 in 2006.
At times, sticking up for his players led to Gardenhire getting ejected. Redmond always was amused seeing the hat-slamming tirades.
"I laugh every time he gets thrown out of a game," Redmond said. "When he takes that hat off and fires it down on the turf, I'm always going to laugh. When I see him coming out of the dugout, I'm like, 'Here we go.'
"He was great for me as a player. He hit me third. He showed a lot of faith in me. I definitely learned a lot from him. The way he managed and the way he handled his players. I have a lot of respect for Gardy."
On Friday, Redmond and Gardenhire united at Roger Dean Stadium. The Twins were in town to take on the Marlins.
Redmond, in his first year managing Miami, says it will be awkward facing people like Gardenhire and his ex-teammates.
"It's exciting," Redmond said. "It's good to see Gardy and all those guys, guys that I've been around with a long time."
Gardenhire is also thrilled to see one of his former players now managing.
"He's a blast," Gardenhire said. "He was fun to have as a player and he's got all the experience and knowledge in the game of being behind that plate. He brings that entertainment to the ballpark, that light feeling that you need at this level. I think he'll do really, really well. He can be real serious when he wants to. We've seen both sides. He was real serious about how he wanted to get things done."
Turner attributes off outing to bad mechanics
JUPITER, Fla. -- Spring Training statistics may not matter, but performance does.
That's what bothers Marlins right-hander Jacob Turner, who had a rough day on Thursday.
In his first Grapefruit League start, the 21-year-old didn't make it through the first inning. He allowed six runs and faced nine batters while logging one out in Miami's 8-2 loss to the Cardinals.
"Every time you go out there, you're trying to compete," Turner said. "You want to do good every time. It doesn't matter to me if the statistics count or don't count. It stings the same."
Turner is next going to pitch on Tuesday in a "B" game against the Mets in Jupiter.
"It's an off-day for the Mets, so they're coming here to play," manager Mike Redmond said. "We have so many pitchers, we have to play some "B" games and some intrasquad games to get those guys some work."
More of an issue for Turner was his delivery, which was a bit off. Health-wise, he's fine.
Early Friday morning, Turner was polishing up his delivery.
"I was a little too antsy throwing the pitch, rather than just staying back and really driving the pitch to the plate," he said. "It was frustrating to me, not being able to make those adjustments. That's something that can't happen. It did. I think you have to look at the positives and try to really figure out what went wrong. That way it doesn't happen again. Correct those problems."
Turner looked at some video, and feels he was mechanically off a bit.
"Just getting a little too quick," he said. "A little bit of just rushing through my delivery. I think my tempo was fine. Being a little bit too quick to the plate, trying to throw the pitch before I should have, so to speak. I think whenever you get the first guy on like that, walking him on four or five pitches like that, it just kind of snowballed from there."
Entering the game, Turner felt fine.
"I felt comfortable before I went out there," he said. "It was just a matter of, I think, I went out there and for whatever reason, I wasn't synced up the way I should have been. Obviously, the results showed that."
• Justin Ruggiano, easing back into baseball-related activities, is about 10 days away from game action. Ruggiano is resting a lower back strain, which has kept him out of Grapefruit League games.
• Steve Cishek threw 1 2/3 innings on Friday, giving up three runs (two earned) with three strikeouts. The Miami closer will be leaving the team for a few weeks on Sunday to join Team USA in Arizona in preparation for the World Baseball Classic.