Potent quotables: Pie 'doesn't know any better'

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“He doesn’t get
to play a whole lot, and achieving what he did tonight is very
exciting. He didn’t know the situation of the game and that there are
certain things you don’t do. He doesn’t know any better. I have plans
to talk to Mike Scioscia, because I’d hate to see them do something to
retaliate. I know Mike. We played together, and I’m sure he’ll
understand. I’ll try to calm him down a little, but Mike was staring at
him.”

– Orioles third base coach Juan Samuel, after Felix Pie celebrated hitting for the cycle on Friday night. By the way, Mike Scioscia, he hates puppies.

“He
was playing video games today. That’s what it looked like. Pressing
buttons. We press A and he throws a ball 97 mph on the corner
down-and-away. We press B and he throws a slider and strikes a guy out.
It was a lot of fun for me. I had a good view of what was going on.”

– John Baker gets all Nintendo about Josh Johnson’s brilliant effort against the Rockies on Friday night. Johnson held the Rockies hitless until a Garrett Atkins solo home run in the seventh inning.

“I’m hitting like [expletive] that’s why.”

– David Ortiz analyzes why he was dropped to seventh in the order
on Friday night. The move seems to have sparked him, as Ortiz hit his
first home run of the month in a wild 8-4 win over the Rangers.

“Yeah,
I mean, you know? You just can’t make any mistakes. It’s kind of tough
when you’ve got to go out and try to be perfect every time out. That
wears on you even more.”

– Aaron Harang accepts his “Teammate of the Month” award.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.