02/22/06 2:53 PM EST
Notes: Olivo opts to remain in camp
Catcher says he won't participate in World Baseball Classic
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
At least that is the stance the Marlins catcher is taking now regarding the upcoming tournament, in which he had been considering playing for the Dominican Republic.
Olivo on Wednesday said he will not take part in the Classic, opting instead to devote his time to winning the Marlins' starting catching job.
For a few days now, Olivo has been leaning strongly to staying in Jupiter. Now his decision appears to be final.
But in the eyes of manager Joe Girardi, the door remains open for Olivo to change his mind.
"I talked to him today," Girardi said. "And I said, 'Your spot on this team is going to be the same if you play or don't play. It's an honor to be chosen to play in that. If you want to play, go ahead. And I'm going to cheer for you. But if you don't want to play, then you do that. But I don't want to know yet. I don't want you to come and tell me something and then change your mind.'
"So as far as I know, maybe that's something he told you. But in my head, he is able to change his mind, because I'm not asking him to make a decision. It's not an easy decision."
Olivo actually tried approaching Girardi on the subject Wednesday, but the first-year manager didn't want to hear the news.
"He started telling and me and I said, 'I don't want to know yet,'" Girardi said. "This is a big decision."
Olivo is regarded as the top catcher in the Dominican Republic, and he recently played winter ball in his native country.
After spending last season with the Mariners and the Padres, Olivo signed as a free agent with the Marlins. With Florida's roster comprised of so many young pitchers, Olivo wants to familiarize himself with his new team.
Olivo is competing with Josh Willingham and Matt Treanor for the starting spot.
"It wouldn't hurt his chances any," Girardi said. "The only thing is, he would have to catch up knowing the pitchers. But he's going to get a chance to know a lot of the pitchers."
March 3 is the date for all players involved in the Classic to report to their respective countries.
Cabrera arrives: Two-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera reported to Spring Training on Wednesday, taking his physical in the morning before taking some batting practice early in the afternoon.
Cabrera is coming off a monster 2005 season, in which he batted .323 with 33 homers and 116 RBIs.
Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis are the primary players remaining from the 2003 World Series championship squad.
Considering the overhaul the team has undergone, there is a danger that both players will try to carry the bulk of the weight. At 22, Cabrera is being looked upon as a leader.
But Girardi is being mindful to guard both young players.
"I didn't expect him to be here early," Girardi said of Cabrera. "He played every day last year. I talked to him in the offseason, but I didn't see him. It was just a friendly conversation, trying to get to know him. The same conversation I had with Dontrelle. I told him, 'Don't try to do too much. You were a young player once, try sharing the information you got. Don't try to be someone you are not. If you're comfortable leading, go ahead. If you're not, you're not.'"
Kensing in relief: Right-hander Logan Kensing, a second-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, has a new role and fresh start.
A starter at Double-A Carolina last year, Kensing incurred a shoulder injury in his brief callup stint with the Marlins, and he didn't pitch for the remainder of the 2005 season. Kensing did get back on the mound in the Arizona Fall League.
Now, Florida is testing Kensing in a relief role.
"[I'll do] whatever they tell me to do," Kensing said. "Hopefully, [relieving] will put a little calm in my mind and I'll be all right."
Kensing said he suffered a small tear to his shoulder ligament while yanking a pitch with the Marlins.
"They found a small tear, so I had to shut it down," Kensing said. "It was in the last game I threw [with the Marlins]. It was one of my last pitches. I jerked one of the pitches and it [went wide]. It didn't feel right."
Kensing is throwing on a regular basis with the rest of the pitchers in Spring Training. If he doesn't make the squad, he is likely to open the season at Triple-A Albuquerque.
"You just have to do your best. You are fighting for a job," he said. "You have to go out there and show them what you've got."
Award for Willis: At 2 p.m. Thursday, Florida Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings will be in Jupiter to present Willis with the Points of Light Award.
Coming up: Thursday is the first day of full-squad workouts. Practices on the back fields at Roger Dean Stadium are open to the public and begin at 10 a.m. ET.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.