ANIBAL THE ANIMAL
“From the times I've faced him, he was a different guy tonight.”
—Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, on Detroit starter (and former teammate) Anibal Sanchez, who set a Tigers record with 17 strikeouts against Atlanta on Friday night. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)
“I didn't think for the strikeout. I just tried to get a lot of ground balls, stay in the game for a lot of innings. That's what I work for.”
—Sanchez, who is now 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 33.2 innings this year.
“He said, 'Once he got over to Detroit last year, he was a different pitcher.' I guess that switch turned on and he locked it in.”
—Uggla, on Sanchez, who was traded to Detroit in 2012 and proceeded to sign a five-year, $88 million extension with the club during the offseason.
“I think it was one of those nights that when you're behind home plate, you feel comfortable with whatever you put down, especially after a 10-0 lead.”
—Tigers catcher Brayan Pena, on Sanchez’s performance.
CRAWFORD PLEASED TO BE OUT OF BEANTOWN
"I don't think I smiled in two years.”
—Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, on his turbulent stint with the Red Sox that ended when Boston shipped him to Los Angeles in a massive deal last August. (Paul White, USA Today)
"I was just frowning, I started growing grey hairs on my face from the stress and everything for two years straight.”
—Crawford, who played in just 161 games with the Sox from 2011-2012, missing considerable time due to injury, and posting a .292 on-base percentage while stealing just 23 bases over that span.
"It's been awhile since I had this feeling, no doubt. Since 2010 with the Rays. It feels good just to feel like my old self again. I'm enjoying every day of it, I'll tell you that."
—Crawford, who’s off to a hot start in 2013, producing an 838 OPS over his first 23 games as a member of the Dodgers.
BUNDY TO BE EXAMINED BY DR. JAMES ANDREWS
“The concern is that it has lingered a little bit longer than we expected it would, but we’ll see. I am waiting to hear from the second opinion that he got. I can give you some more information after that. Hopefully we hear something soon.”
—Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, who has sent top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy to orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion on Bundy’s persistent arm pain. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)
“We hope to find out that [Andrews] feels the same way that our people do [who] have looked at it. We’re very supportive of it.”
—Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
“We’ve talked to him about [how it happened], but I don’t think there’s something definitive on it from what I understand. It depends on who you ask or who you talk to. We’re more interested in getting it resolved right now. But you always look at something like that and say, ‘OK, was there something that did cause it?’ so that you keep it from happening again. You don’t completely move forward and get it resolved. You don’t want it to happen again.”
Anyone else enjoying a romantic dinner for one tonight?
—The glamorous life of an up-and-coming major-league pitcher. (Trevor Bauer, @BauerOutage, Cleveland Indians)
"I just laugh, because we just came from Anaheim, so we were joking earlier that we're on my standing ovation tour around the country right now. I think a lot of people forget I actually did play here once, but it's part of it and I understand. I get a kick out of it and a nice chuckle."
—Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who’s been hearing a round of boos on his plate appearances. (Nate Sandell, MLB.com)
"One of the biggest things about the location is the accessibility and the geographic closeness to a lot of the other teams. Before, you're playing in the San Pedro division, and you face the Brewers, the Tigers, the Braves—over and over and over. Now, we have many more opponents. So I think the kids will get more exposure to different players, and on top of that, for a scouting stake, we're just more in the central hub of most of the player movement occurs. So, it's a big advantage."
—Angels director of international scouting Carlos Gomez, on the team’s new facility in the Dominican Republic, in hopes of signing new talent in Latin America. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)
“He has been working hard. He's quieted things down. He seems to be much more relaxed at the plate and a little quieter. We cut out a lot of movement, and that's big for Brandon. He's taking away from his strength. He's got power. … He was having trouble catching up to pitches because he was going forward so much.”
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on the adjustments of first baseman Brandon Belt. Unfortunately, “regular playing time” isn’t one of them. (Eric Gilmore, MLB.com)
“The biggest thing that I've changed is the confidence thing, knowing that I can play here and going through what I did last year, and having fun—not putting so much pressure on myself. Last year, I put too much pressure on myself. It kind of limited what I could do when I was out there, rather than going out there and having fun. That's what I tried to do in spring, and it worked, and it's working in Triple-A.”
—Braves infielder Tyler Pastornicky, on being called up due to a slew of Braves injuries. (Owen Perkins, MLB.com)
"I wasn't able to get ahead of hitters, so I just tried to plug away, not let the game get out of hand. You would rather give up hits than walk everybody and much rather go deeper into the ballgame. But sometimes you have to shake your head and move on."
— Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels, on his first win of the season. (Jay Greenberg, MLB.com)
"Everybody expects him to hit a home run or get a guy in every time. Having him get his confidence back is the biggest thing to try and lift our team up."
—Marlins shortstop Nick Green, on right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. (Christina De Nicola, MLB.com)
"But he battled. He gave us five innings and kept us in the ballgame. There are times like that when he needs to use his whole arsenal.”
—Nationals manager Davey Johnson, on starting pitcher Ross Detwiler who fell to 1-2 on the season in the Nationals loss. (Todd Karpovich, MLB.com
“The only person who knows what happened is Jonathan. I know this about Jonathan: He knows he has to pitch well to keep his spot, and anything that takes away from that isn't productive."
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on the fairness of Jonathan Sanchez’s suspension resting on whether his hit by pitch was thrown intentionally. (Tom Singer, MLB.com)
"He's got to earn it. He's got to go down there and play well. He's not swinging the bat very well.”
—Cubs manager Dale Sveum, on infielder Ian Stewart, who is hitting .083 in Triple-A. (David Furones, MLB.com)
"This is my first time hitting fourth in the lineup. I was surprised. I asked the hitting coach, 'Hey, is everything OK here?' It feels good. I'm not going to change my approach at the plate. I'm trying to keep everything the same—see the ball and hit it."
—Yuniesky Betancourt, on batting cleanup. (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)