March 25, 2013
The Week in Quotes
DON’T EXPECT TO SEE JETER ON OPENING DAY
"This continues to tell you that it's just not ready yet for the full duties. Obviously, it's looking more likely than not that he will start the season on the DL, and a more realistic goal is April 6."
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, conceding that shortstop Derek Jeter will probably not be ready for Opening Day. Jeter is recovering from an ankle injury sustained during last year’s playoffs. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)
"He's feeling more discomfort in a different spot. He realizes that things are happening, the Opening Day schedule is approaching, and he's not 100 percent just yet. I think the reality is setting in."
“I've met with Derek Jeter today. I told him what I think, and he didn't fight me on it. That's reality. I saw his face, too. It doesn't mean he's not still hopeful [of playing Opening Day], but I think he's less hopeful today than he was two days ago."
PITCHERS READY... OR NOT?
“Everything was sharp. My fastball was pretty good, I had a lot of command. The breaking ball did the job. Every start I feel more comfortable. I’m just getting ready for the season.’’
—Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, whose pitching repertoire and bank account are in fine shape to start the season. (Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times)
“If you look at how he’s using his secondary stuff and mixing it in with his fastball, even from the beginning of camp, it’s been pretty incredible.”
—Mariners manager Eric Wedge on reliever Carter Capps, who has developed a slider to compliment his heater.
"His stuff was great, velocity was there, good slider, and he even mixed in a couple of changeups. But overall, he was a little spotty on the ball-strike ratio. But we saw some strides.”
—Padres manager Bud Black on fifth-spot contender Tyson Ross. (Corey Brock, MLB.com)
"He goes out there and mixes his pitches. He's got four quality major-league pitches. A couple of years ago, he had just one—and barely one—because he couldn't even command the fastball."
—Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez on top pitching prospect Julio Teheran. Teheran struck out 10 in his start Saturday, matching his strikeout total in Grapefruit League action last season. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)
“I’m just letting batters get away and not finishing guys off. It goes back to location. I’m not repeating my mechanics, but I don’t feel like I’m too far off.”
—Giants starter Tim Lincecum, who hopes he won’t be repeating his 2012 regular season struggles. (Alex Pavlovic, MercuryNews.com)
“Anytime you go down to the last week of spring, you’ve got that going on, but I just got to relax and get going and just play like myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like myself, so really just more of that, trying to concentrate on where I should be and where I can be.”
—Mets center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, on his mindset returning from an injury. (Jorge Castillo, NJ.com)
"As a starter, I was able to have five days to shake it off and get back out there. But as a bullpen guy, the next day, you've got to be ready to go. I've really gone to Jason and looked at him because he's done a great job at that. He's in the moment."
—Pirates relief pitcher Jared Hughes, on his new attitude helped by fellow Pirate Jason Grilli. (Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
“He was rolling before he got hurt. We’ve still got time to get him sharp again. But we’ve got to be careful to overextend him and have it happen again. That’s the fine line.”
—Reds manager Dusty Baker, on Shin-Soo Choo’s return to the lineup. Choo was tearing the cover off the ball before his injury, hitting .400.
"We've got to really do some close monitoring. His is going to be more the movement stuff. We need him to be able to take care of what he has to take care of in the outfield."
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on center fielder Carlos Beltran’s health concerns. (Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com)
—Phillies southpaw Cliff Lee, who must’ve missed Jason Parks’ list of top Red Sox prospects. (Scott Lauber, @ScottLauber, Boston Herald)
—Despite his hefty contract, the injury-ravaged Yankees acquired 34-year-old outfielder Vernon Wells from the Angels on Sunday. (Alden Gonzalez, @Alden_Gonzalez, MLB.com)
—Kyle Lohse will sign a contract any day now... right? (Peter Gammons, @pgammo, MLB.com)
—Oakland’s Cuban import joked about competing for a roster spot after an excellent rookie campaign in 2012. (John Shea, @JohnSheaHey, San Francisco Chronicle)
—Opposing pitchers will look to avoid Singleton’s happy zone. (Brian McTaggart, @brianmctaggart, MLB.com)
—Braves third baseman Chris Johnson is ready for spring training to be over. (Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves)
"I don't remember the last time I was pitching like that—probably Little League when I was, like, 13 years old. I just forgot about it and [focused on] the hitters. It felt a little weird when he called, 'Ball!' behind me. It was like, 'Oh, God!'"
—Brewers reliever Wily Peralta on an unorthodox umpire setup during a spring training game Tuesday. When home plate umpire Seth Buckminster left with an injury, veteran Tim McClelland positioned himself behind the mound to call balls and strikes. (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)
"For any staff, having a staple behind the plate all across the board is huge. The good ole years with the Astros and Brad Ausmus speak volumes when it comes to that. He's been great. What really hurt us is when he went down a couple of years ago with the knee injury. We haven't seen him as much as we wanted, but he picked it up last year, and I think he's going to have a great year this year, too."
—Astros starter Bud Norris, on catcher Jason Castro, who will be the team’s starting backstop. He and backup Carlos Corporan are having terrific springs with the bat. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)
“That was the furthest home run I’ve given up in a couple years. … It was wind-aided, though, I will say that.”
—Angels starter C.J. Wilson, on Jeff Francoeur’s monster home run off him on Friday. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)
"It's easy to get typecast, especially if you are having success off the bench. In my mindset, I want to give my best effort whenever my opportunity arises, whether that's starting or coming off the bench. I was just being used coming off the bench, so it seemed like that was the only time I had success. All I wanted was the opportunity to go out there and show on an everyday basis what can happen."’
—Rockies second baseman Eric Young Jr., who wants to shed his bench player image and start games for the team. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)
“I see a lot of opportunity here, but there’s not that much time left. I go to go out there and do my thing and see what happens.”
—Marlins infielder Wilson Valdez on being signed by the Fish on Saturday. (Tom D’Angelo, Palm Beach Post)
"Well, this is something that you never are going to get it done by yourself, so I want to thank the guys, my teammates, the manager, also the Dominican team for giving me that opportunity to be here with all these guys, all this great talent. Without my teammates, I would have never won an MVP, so I would say it's not only me, it's about the whole team."
—Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who compiled a .469 batting average with two home runs and six RBI to capture MVP honors at the World Baseball Classic. (John Schlegel, MLB.com)
"To be honest with you, I'm not comfortable with anything that's going on at short right now.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, after Hanley Ramirez injured his right thumb in the World Baseball Classic final. He’s looking at two names: Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)
"This Dodger team, I'm feeling good how we really know each other now. This city is about expectations. Come on, now, you've got to embrace that. Have fun. Play the game the way you've always played it. It's not about expectations, the payroll. We should want to win it. Hey, there have been expectations on them as young men way before now. They were probably the best in high school, in the college they went to. Expectations? I love it. Because it reminds me of the old Dodgers, the old Lakers. I told them, `You all had pressure. We had it too. We loved it.' I'd rather have that than no expectations."
—Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, hyping the fans for a torrent of wins this year in Los Angeles. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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