Volquez gearing up to pitch in Classic

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Just as he did in 2009, Edinson Volquez will pitch for the Dominican Republic in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

The 29-year old will report to Miami on March 2, where he will practice with the Dominican Republic for a few days before the team begins pool play on March 7 in Puerto Rico against Venezuela.

"That's the one position you have to really monitor," Padres manager Bud Black said about having one of his starting pitchers leaving Spring Training to participate.

Volquez was 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA in 2012, and Black wants to make sure the right-hander gets his work in while representing his country.

"You want to make sure they're pitching," Black said. "From a competitive standpoint, you want to make sure your guys are pitching. If they do happen to struggle, there might be a tendency for a country to not pitch their guy, so we have to make sure they are still pitching."

Since the Classic is so competitive, Volquez will be focusing on getting hitters out, rather than working on a specific pitch or location, as is common during Spring Training. To ensure he gets some work in with the Padres, and to make sure he is ready for the Classic, Black said Volquez will throw twice with the Padres prior to his March 2 departure.