Puerto Rico pregame interviews March 12

Q.  (From Spanish) for the next game, independently of what happens, is there already a decision on the starter?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  (From Spanish) yes, so far it will be Giancarlo Alvarado.  He is tomorrow, Giancarlo.  On Thursday Giancarlo, and then Nelson Figueroa.

Q.  Here in the Marlins Park, how does it feel to manage here?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  (From Spanish) you talk about the Marlins, the Marlins' situation, I've been asked that question often.  I feel weird.  There will be another park where I'll be managing.  It's thrilling to be here in the new park.  And the Marlins thing, I had an opportunity to talk with David Samson, the president of the Marlins.  We had a very good talk.  He showed up at the office, which was a very professional gesture, and it's regrettable because it didn't happen last year for whatever reason.  But I think this organization has shown throughout the years that it can get together again and go in the right direction.

To know about the future, you'd have to have special knowledge.  But I think, yes, they can get it together and get ahead.

Q.  What have you learned about him and what have you liked?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Right.  First of all, when we put together the whole team, we choose players like Berrios, 18 years old, Eddie Rosario, 21, Andres Santiago, you know, youngsters, so they can get the experience.  Going through the first round facing that tough lineup, Venezuela and Dominican, and playing the way that we played there, we played very well in front of 20,000 plus fans, and they handled themselves very well.  I think that they learned a lot from that.  I think the whole pitching staff especially learned a lot from the first round from what they faced.

So I think from now on, whoever we face, I think they're going to be under control.

Q.  Do you feel like Berrios has shown you enough you can put him in those leverage situations now going forward?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Oh, definitely, definitely.  In Spring Training he faced pretty good hitters ‑‑ not Spring Training, during the exhibition games in Fort Myers, and he was very impressive, throwing 97, 98 with a big league changeup.  Already he has two big league pitches.

Q.  For tonight's game is everybody available, not the starters, but is everyone in the bullpen available?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  (From Spanish) everybody is available.  We have to start the game without Burgos, he is not there, he's not available.  With respect to Beltran, as we've explained before, this is Spring Training for many of them, and Beltran, we have not been able to play him nine innings, then he was hit in the leg with a ball.  Even though he feels well, we have to be sure that he can be there for nine innings, so the easiest thing will be designated hitting.

Q.  I'd like to know your opinion, Italy gave a good scare to the Dominican Republic, so we know there are no small enemies.  What's your opinion?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  (From Spanish) I think in the first round and second round, we are facing teams that know how to play baseball very well.  Many of them will not have the name, but they do know how to play baseball.  So you combine the time you are playing, even the superstars are not in their best shape to play, together with the fact that they are facing players that maybe they played during the winter and they are in the best shape now.  So I think that's combined, and that's why we are seeing so many surprises so far in the Classic.  That's why we've seen such close games.

So independently who will play from now on, the same thing will happen.  I think the one who plays the best will win, not who has the best superstars.

Q.  You're facing Stanton tonight.  What have you learned that might help you in facing him and pitching against him, and I don't know how much you've seen him but how much better is he now than when you had him?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  He's the kind of player ‑‑ as a matter of fact, I managed him in rookie ball in the Big Leagues, so I know him well.  He's been amazing, not only the way he's been developing himself as a player, but mentally he seems very tough.  And definitely, when you have a lineup where you have Giancarlo Stanton hitting eighth, that means that we're going to have a pretty tough task ahead of us.  But Stanton, he's ‑‑ I am a fan of him.  I know because he's a great ballplayer, but as a person, as an individual, he's committed to his career and committed to getting better.

We're going to be facing Stanton tonight, so hopefully he comes out with nobody on base and we can pitch around him and we'll see what we can do from there.

Q.  Two questions:  Could you see some of the game ‑ Italy versus Dominican?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  (From Spanish) yes, I saw it almost completely.  As I said before, there are many players who know how to play baseball.  There are players who have been all of them professionals sometime in their career, and they play very well, and they had four runs.  Volquez got it straight.  They know how to play baseball very well.  Italy, Spain and Puerto Rico, they played very good games in Puerto Rico, so surprises shouldn't be so surprising here.  There are conditions that motivate, that cause these type of close games.

Q.  And your opinion individually and collectively to be in this type of championship, the last six, your message for the boys?

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  (From Spanish) the message is the same one when we got together in Fort Myers for the first practice.  We're going to concentrate on one day at a time, one game at a time, one inning at a time, one pitch at a time, and that's our message.  It has worked, and the boys know that we have to get it out there, concentrate on nine innings, whatever, concentrate on the pitching, and we'll see who will play the next day, and that's our philosophy.  Thank you.