The World Baseball Classic is starting and most do not like some players on teams that they are fans of playing in the tournament because the player has a higher risk of getting injured in highly competitive baseball games than they have in warmup games in Spring Training. However, for Miami Marlins fans, young starter Henderson Alvarez‘s participation in the World Baseball Classic for Venezuela may help his progress rather than impede it.
Alvarez was acquired by the Marlins from the Toronto Blue Jays as part of the blockbuster 12-player trade that sent Marlins fans back to 2007 when a good team with Miguel Cabrera and Dan Uggla was broken up for payroll reasons. Alvarez is only 22-years-old and has a lot of refining to do if he wants to stay in the rotation this season. Playing in the World Baseball Classic this year will definitely help him prepare for where he needs to be come April.
His last Spring Training appearance was Friday against the Minnesota Twins. He allowed three runs on six hits and struck out one batter. When he plays for Venezuela, he will join Carlos Zambrano, Francisco Rodriguez and Anibal Sanchez, just to name a few veteran pitchers. It is Alvarez’s prerogative to learn from these players so when he does come in April to start in Miami, he will know what to expect when he gets his second full-fledged stint in the majors.
The Marlins open up the season April 1 against the Washington Nationals.