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Carlos Quentin “optimistic” about Opening Day readiness

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Carlos Quentin’s return from offseason knee surgery involved being sidelined for nearly two weeks with soreness, but he’s back playing in minor-league games and saw action defensively for the first time yesterday.

Quentin told Corey Brock of that “it went really well” and made it clear that he hasn’t ruled out being ready for Opening Day, saying: “That’s the goal. I still believe I’ll have that opportunity.”

Quentin has a long history of injuries and missed the first two months of last season following a different knee surgery. He played in just 86 games last year and had to go under the knife again in October. In between all the knee problems he hit .261 with 16 homers and an .877 OPS, which convinced the Padres to give him a three-year, $27 million extension in July.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
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The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.