Potent quotables: "I wasn't paid to walk"

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“Believe me, I wasn’t paid to walk. I was paid to try to do some damage.”

– Jim Rice addressed reporters
at a news conference in Cooperstown on Saturday. Rice, along with
all-time stolen base leader Rickey Henderson will be inducted into the
Hall of Fame on Sunday. Somewhere, Bengie Molina is smiling.

We’re not looking at this as a one-year deal, I assure you.”

– Cardinals chairman Bill Dewitt would like to lock up the newly-acquired Matt Holliday.
Only problem, Holliday is represented by Scott Boras. There’s at least
some hope though, because the Cardinals did get Boras-client Kyle Lohse
to forgo free agency when he signed a four-year extension with the club
last September.

“Do you put these guys in, and do you
put names with an asterisk beside the name, ‘Hey, they did it, but
here’s why.’ To be safe, that’s the only way I can see how you can do
it.”

– More Hall of Fame talk as Hank Aaron told the San Francisco Chronicle that steroid users should get in the Hall of Fame, as long as there is some recognition of their wrongdoing.

“I thought he was talking about a sign or something. And he was like, that wall.”

– Jason Bay describes teammate Adam LaRoche’s reaction to seeing the Green Monster.

“You watch little signs on the mound.
Really, the result tells you a lot with a guy that has that good a
stuff. It was necessary to have that discussion afterwards. I know he
doesn’t want to say that anything’s bothering him. But we’ll find out
tomorrow in more detail.”

– Manager Don Wakamatsu thinks Erik Bedard may be hurt again. The southpaw lasted just three innings in a loss to the Indians on Saturday night.

“I was nervous. But I took a deep breath and just did what I love to do. I am happy I was able to help the team.”

21-year-old Jhoulys Chacin made his major league debut against the Giants on Saturday, working a scoreless ninth, including a swinging strikeout of Juan Uribe to end it.

Twins’ top prospect Nick Burdi will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.

Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.

It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”

Brock Holt has been shut down from game activity

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Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.

According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.

Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.