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.

Danny Espinosa reportedly skipped Nationals Winterfest because of Adam Eaton

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after teammate Chris Heisey #14 (not pictured) hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.

A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.

Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.

Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox should deal Pomeranz, not Buchholz

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.

The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.

Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.

Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.