WBC Notebook

Hit hard in opener, Dickey eager for another chance



R.A. Dickey’s first outing in the World Baseball Classic didn’t go so well. The 2012 National League Cy Young winner expects better results when he starts for the United States in its next game.

“That was my third outing since Oct. 2, so as much as my heart wanted to kind of step on the gas, sometimes it’s hard for the body to catch up,” said Dickey, whose knuckleball hardly fazed the Mexicans in an opening loss in the first round. “I’m another week stronger, and I’m feeling pretty good, so I’m anticipating a better outing.”

Dickey gave up six hits and four earned runs against Mexico and will start regardless if the United States is playing in Wednesday’s elimination game or against the Dominican Republic in the winner’s bracket Thursday.

• Italy will start right-hander Alessandro Maestri in Wednesday’s elimination game. He went 6-3 with a 1.77 ERA and 12 saves in Japan last year and got the win over Canada in the opening round by tossing three innings of one-run ball.

• Puerto Rico is starting right-hander Giancarlo Alvarado in its second game. He tossed four scoreless innings against Spain in a win in the opening round and went 1-6 with a 3.92 ERA in Japan last season.

• Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno, who struck out five batters through four scoreless innings in a win over Spain, will pitch Thursday for the Dominican Republic.

Rodriguez returns

Former Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, now Puerto Rico’s manager, said Tuesday it felt both thrilling and weird to be back in Miami and at Marlins Park.

“I had an opportunity to talk with David Samson, the president of the Marlins,” said Rodriguez, who stepped down as manager midway through the 2011 season. “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.”

Rodriguez, a Double A manager with the Indians, said despite the recent struggles with the Marlins and major overhaul to the roster “this organization has shown throughout the years that it can get together again and go in the right direction.”

A happy Piazza

Former Marlins catcher Mike Piazza (albeit for only a five-game stint) said he has enjoyed his run as Italy’s hitting coach. The Italians have certainly liked having him.

Although Italy has just four regular major-leaguers in its lineup, it pounded the ball in Round 1 and came into Tuesday’s game against the Dominican Republic hitting .336 (second best in the tournament) and having scored more runs (22) than it did in the previous six WBC games combined (19) in 2006 and 2009. Piazza, 44 and who lives in Miami Beach, said he’s not necessarily looking for a full-time coaching job. “At this point in my life, it’s exactly what I want to do,” said Piazza, a former 62nd-round pick.

• Major League Baseball senior vice president of international business operations Paul Archey said while there are lot of cities pitching to host the World Baseball Classic in 2017, he expects this won’t be the only time Marlins Park gets to host — especially now because there is a retractable roof.

Miami hosted the World Baseball Classic in 2009 at Sun Life Stadium.

• Robinson Cano and the Dominicans had plenty of reasons to smile after their 5-4 come-from-behind win over Italy on Tuesday. But not everything made Cano smile. He took issue with the way Italy was sliding into second base when he was covering the bag and even exchanged a few words over it with Nick Punto in the seventh.

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