Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Miami series a homecoming for Giants rookies

Suarez, Rodriguez to pitch in front of family, friends at Marlins Park
Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- Who says you can't go home again? Two Miami products return to their roots to pitch for the Giants in back-to-back games Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon against the Marlins.

Wednesday starter Andrew Suarez was born in Miami, grew up a Marlins fan and went to the University of Miami, where he pitched three innings against the Marlins in the team's stadium-opening exhibition in 2012.

View Full Game Coverage

MIAMI -- Who says you can't go home again? Two Miami products return to their roots to pitch for the Giants in back-to-back games Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon against the Marlins.

Wednesday starter Andrew Suarez was born in Miami, grew up a Marlins fan and went to the University of Miami, where he pitched three innings against the Marlins in the team's stadium-opening exhibition in 2012.

View Full Game Coverage

Thursday starter Dereck Rodriguez is the son of former Marlins star Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. He was homeschooled during his father's World Series championship year (2003) with Miami, so he said he was at the ballpark all the time. That was back when the Marlins played at Pro Player Stadium.

"It was fun, a lot of good memories," said the younger Rodriguez. "But it's weird coming back here, because you're playing the same team, but it's a different stadium."

Rodriguez lives in Plantation, 30 miles north of Miami, during the offseason.

The 25-year-old Suarez will be making his 10th Major League start on Wednesday. He is 2-4 with a 5.06 ERA.

Video: SF@WSH: Rodriguez whiffs Adams swinging in the 1st

"Andrew's done a nice job," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy of the left-hander. "He's really made a lot of progress. You look at his stuff, it's going to work here. He's 93 [mph] in that area with a good breaking ball and a good changeup. He's got poise, that's what I like about him.

"Last start got away from him in the fifth inning, but the start before that was one of our better starts of the season that he had."

Suarez said he is pumped for the opportunity to pitch back in his hometown.

"This is going to be amazing," Suarez said. "It's going to be like college, back here throwing in front of my family and friends. I have a big family, but I think most of my friends are going to come.

Video: SF@WSH: Pudge talks about watching his son pitch

"It hasn't really settled in, I'm sure it will once I step on the mound. Growing up, watching the Marlins since I was little and in college playing in the stadium against them as well, I'm going to be very excited, for sure."

Suarez said he has enjoyed his short time in the Major Leagues, and that he is already learning a lot.

"It's awesome. The veteran guys here have been helping me out and helping me adjust to the big leagues, minimizing damage and trying to not repeat the same sequences and all those things. Change my looks when someone's on, just small things," Suarez said.

Rodriguez, who graduated from high school in Miami, said he also expects a large contingency to be in the stands cheering him on.

"I've got a lot of family and a lot of tickets [to give out]," Rodriguez said. "I'll be playing for free for a couple of days."

Rodriguez said his dad would be at Marlins Park on Tuesday and for the remainder of the series. He said he spent a lot of time in the batting cage growing up, and he never dreamed he'd be playing in the big leagues as a pitcher.

"[Pitching] was different," Rodriguez said. "It was fun. It was a lot of work, but it paid off. Hopefully I can stay here for a lot of years."

Rodriguez will be making his third Major League start. He is 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.

San Francisco Giants, Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez