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Alvarez expects to pitch Sunday; Salty cleared to return to baseball activities; Furcal progressing

ARLINGTON, TEX. -- Henderson Alvarez said his hip feels fine and if all goes well in his next bullpen session, manager Mike Redmond said, the Marlins' best starting pitcher should be in line to make his next start Sunday at home against the Pirates.

On Sunday, Alvarez landed awkwardly and left the game in the sixth inning after leaping high in the air to take a flip toss from first baseman Garrett Jones while covering the bag. The bullpen ended up yielding two inherited runs and they were credited to Alvarez, ending his string of 26 consecutive scoreless innings, third-longest in Marlins history. 

Alvarez said Tuesday he was pretty bummed his scoreless innings streak came to an end, and that he could have kept on pitching had the Marlins and Redmond not decided to take precautionary measures.

"Everything was fine. I was good. The only thing is when I fell it looked ugly. But I could have kept pitching," Alvarez said. "I didn't have anything wrong with my body. I wanted to keep pitching. It bothered me they took me out of the game, especially a game I was pitching so well in. I could have continued. But those are things that happen in baseball. I've got to let it go. It's over now. I have to keep looking forward."

Although the Marlins entertained the idea of starting Nathan Eovaldi against the Rangers to wrap up the quick two-game set (his wife is expecting to have their first child on Sunday), the rotation will stay in order, Redmond said, and right-hander Jacob Turner will start opposite Rangers ace Yu Darvish Wednesday. Eovaldi will pitch Friday at home against the Pirates.

Redmond stopped short of saying who was going to start for the Marlins Saturday -- a possible landing spot for top prospect Andrew Heaney. If Heaney isn't called up to start then, left-hander Randy Wolf will stay in his scheduled spot. 

SALTY BEGINS BASEBALL ACTIVITIES

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on the disabled list with concussion-like symptoms since June 1, began participating in baseball activities on Tuesday in Jupiter. Redmond said he took 25 swings from both the left and right side, played catch and rode bike.

The Marlins don't have a time frame as to when they expect Saltalamacchia to return from the disabled list, Redmond said. He also expects the catcher to play in a few rehab games before returning. "He'll be on a day-to-day progression just to make sure he doesn't have any symptoms come back," Redmond said.

> It might not be long before the Marlins finally get to see veteran second baseman Rafael Furcal, who on Monday had his most productive rehab game yet for Double A Jacksonville. Furcal, 36, went 3-for-5, scored two runs and stole a base. He's now 6-for-20 (.300) with four runs scored and four stolen bases since his latest return to action on June 5th. Redmond said Furcal will play the next couple days in Single A Jupiter for logistical reasons. 

"[Christian Yelich] has done a good job, but when that day comes for Furcal it will be exciting to see what he can do and get him out there and hopefully he’ll be a spark for us," Redmond said. "I don’t know when that day is coming, but it is probably coming soon. It was coming soon about a month ago too and it didn’t. I think it's safe to say coming soon."

TUESDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (33-30): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Ed Lucas 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Marcell Ozuna CF, 7. Justin Bour DH, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Adeiny Hechavarria SS. RHP Tom Koehler.

> Rangers (31-33): 1. Michael Choice LF, 2. Elvis Andrus SS, 3. Shin-Soo Choo DH, 4. Adrian Beltre 3B, 5. Alex Rios RF, 6. Brad Snyder 1B, 7. Robinson Chirinos C, 8. Leonys Martin CF, 9. Rougned Odor 2B. RHP Colby Lewis

Comments

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Cleveland Spider

Tomorrow's match up against of Turner against Darvish is a complete mismatch. I will watch just to see Darvish but there is no way the Marlins win today. It is to the point now that it is an automatic loss every time Turner pitches. What is it going to take to finally get him out of the rotation?

Needless to say, today is a MUST win if we want to split this short 2 game series.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

OK, I saw Alvarez writhing on the ground when he landed awkwardly. I didn't see the ankle or the knee give too badly, but nevertheless he looked like he was in agony for a while there. I've seen some guys wreck their knees, lose a year or more out of their career, and they reacted a LOT less than he did. So what gives? Does he have such a (ahem) low tolerance for pain? (we had a name for it in my old neighborhood, it begins with a "p") Or is he just a drama queen? Neither one is complimentary.

Lee S.

A spark from Furcal? Is somebody just pulling our leg? Derek Dietrich has homered three times in four games at New Orleans. He is one of the best hitters on the Marlins. He is one of the brightest second base prospects in the majors. Rafael Furcal? Unbelievable.

my opinion

Lee S-I agree about Dietrich and am puzzled about Furcal. To think what the Marlins could have done with that $3.5 million they gave Furcal.

Al-Kendall

Give Furcal a chance on the Marlins. He should be better defensively than Dietrich and may even provide an offensive spark as a lead-off hitter. It may even work out he gets traded to the Dodgers at the end of July, and Dietrich is back before August.

A Realist

I don't get how so many people are so high on Dietrich when he was batting in the .250's and committed an error almost nightly. He is a liability out there. Defense is just as important as offensive ability, which wasn't that great to begin with. So what he hits homeruns. He'll give the run right back with an error. He can't hit for average and drive in runs when we need them. The same could be said for Stanton the last few years, but even he isn't this bad defensively.

I was a big fan of Dietrich's starting this season, but the kid just cannot stop committing errors. It would be one thing if his average was .270-.280's, but it's not. He's average at best. Big deal he hits homeruns! Those don't win games. Sound fundamental baseball wins games (defense, situational hitting, etc).

I'm not a Furcal fan. It's obvious he's here for another paycheck. I'd rather see Solano or Lucas out there because those guys are ours at least. At the end of the day, if Furcal can still hit then I say use him. Hopefully his defense is still at it's usual high level.

Lou Vales

I believe this organization has given Dietrich a ready made excuse for his defensive problems. They keep saying he started having these issues after he took the shot to the face. People, he plays 2B!!! He is not 60 feet 6 inches away from the batter as have been some pitchers who took shots and then came back to pitch. I don't know the exact distance away Dietrich is when he plays his position but I do know he won't be KILLED out there like a pitcher could be. Tell him to get over it OR if he can't send him to a sports psychologist who will be able to help him understand that what happened to him is something that occurs very rarely. If this irrationality is allowed to linger for much longer, you could be looking at serious long range issues.

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