Here are some notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"I feel comfortable. I feel good. You feel so good playing behind our pitching staff right now, and you do everything you can for them because they're battling out there, and, they're doing great. I've always thought playing in a position keeps you in the game more."
-- Kansas City Royals first baseman/designated hitter Billy Butler on how playing first base is different than being the designated hitter. (MLB.com)
"He's looking like an ace right now. He's got a good breaking ball, and when he's on, he can spot his fastball real well. He hits 89-90, sometimes 91 [mph], and when he's got the command of that, he can be pretty tough. But his real strikeout pitch is his curveball, and he's got one of the best ones."
--Houston Astros manager Cecil Cooper on the pitching of starter Wandy Rodriguez this season. Rodriguez has a 2.33 ERA to rank among the leaders in the National League and has allowed only one run in his last two outings. (Astros.com)
"Me and 'P' [Prince Fielder] were talking about it [after the game Saturday], and I approached Ski [hitting coach Jim Skaalen] and Ski went and talked to [manager] Ned [Yost]. And Ned came and talked to us.
"We're both excited about it. Neither one of us was comfortable where we were [in the lineup]. From a mental perspective, it's like a fresh start. I don't know that we were necessarily uncomfortable the other way, but it's just more comfortable this way."
-- Ryan Braun on flipping spots in the Brewers' batting order with Prince Fielder. Braun had been hitting fourth and Fielder third until this Sunday, when manager Ned Yost switched them in the batting lineup. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"I wore it in high school, so it's pretty cool. Of course, it's an honor to wear it."
-- Prince Fielder commenting on wearing No. 42 Tuesday night in honor of Jackie Robinson. Major League Baseball honored Robinson's 61st anniversary of breaking the color barrier by allowing players to wear the No. 42, which has been retired by the sport. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"I was able to squeak out a hit that got changed -- the mustache stays until that is over."
-- Eric Byrnes on having to keep his moustache after collecting an infield single Sunday on a play that was originally ruled an error. The Diamondbacks' outfielder has not shaved his upper lip during his 10-game hitting streak, which continued with a fifth-inning single on Monday. (East Valley Tribune)
"I think the team needed that much more than Robbie. Robbie's going to be fine. Robbie's a great hitter. He's going to hit way more than .300 and probably make the All-Star team. I think we all need a little confidence boost here and there, but the team needed that more than Robbie."
-- Alex Rodriguez on second baseman Robinson Cano, who came off the bench to hit a game-winning home run against Tampa Bay in the eighth inning Monday night for the Yankees. (Newsday)
"Me wearing pinstripes, regardless of what point of the season or my career it would have been, is not an option. I can't ... think back to having that conversation specifically ... it's not an option. Never has been an option."
-- Curt Schilling on dispelling any rumors about ever wanting to pitch for the New York Yankees. (Boston Globe)
"The velocity and stuff, where I'm at, it fluctuates at times. It's a shoulder, man. You're going to have some good days and bad days. It's just all about making pitches, not about velocity."
-- Mark Mulder after working five innings in a Minor League rehab start in which he allowed just one earned run. His velocity, which was as high as 90 mph in a previous workout, hit 88 mph on Tuesday. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I've pitched in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. You have to be prepared for every situation. When you're a reliever, every situation is pretty tough. So now, I have to be prepared mentally to get the last three outs."
-- Rafael Betancourt, who will be serving as the Indians' closer with Joe Borowski on the shelf. (Akron Beacon Journal)
"We were asleep for eight innings."
-- Pat Burrell, after the Phillies turned an eighth-inning 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 victory with four runs in the ninth against the Houston Astros on Tuesday. (Philadelphia Daily News)
"This is every young player's dream: to get a Major League win. It couldn't have come at a better time."
-- Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Clay Rapada, after picking up his first victory on Tuesday. (Detroit Free Press)
"I stopped it because they told me to stop it. It's hard, but I have to do it. There are a lot of things in your life you have to sacrifice to do good."
-- Carlos Zambrano, who has been asked to cut down on his caffeine intake to help prevent cramps in his forearm while he is pitching. (Chicago Tribune)
"It's been awhile, but I feel I'm a different pitcher this year. I expect this the rest of the way. Nothing is new anymore. I went out with the stuff I had today. You just have to battle every game."
-- Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks after throwing 7 2/3 innings of shutout baseball on Tuesday night to pick up his first win since July of 2007. (Chicago Sun-Times)
"I have the confidence in myself that, if I make the pitch, regardless of who it is, I think I'll get him out. I love being in close games. I love facing the heart of the order."
-- St. Louis Cardinals rookie pitcher Kyle McClellan, who has thus far enjoyed plenty of success in mid-inning and setup roles for his hometown team. McClellan is originally from Florissant, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"When you lose guys of that caliber, you absolutely feel some sort of pressure to pick up the slack. But I think -- with the pieces we have -- that we can do it. I don't think it's going to be an issue."
--Braves reliever Will Ohman on how the bullpen is handling the loss of closer Rafael Soriano and top setup man Peter Moylan to injuries. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"The unfortunate side of that is that you're going to be in a lot of unfavorable counts, a lot of two-strike counts. But while your first and second at-bats might not be so good, by the time you get to your third or fourth, you've seen all of his pitches, and you'll be ready to go out there and hit."
-- Andre Ethier on the Ddogers' new emphasis on taking pitches. (Los Angeles Times)
"That kid's done a great job. He's done all he can do, coming up here in three games and playing well. He's got a talent. He showed it last year, and now, he's come up here, he's getting some playing time and taking advantage of it."
-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on rookie sensation John Bowker. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I think it's a good idea -- the more, the better. There will be a kid in the stands today who asks his mom or dad, 'Why is everyone wearing the same number?' And they'll have a talk about [Robinson]. We want to bring attention to his legacy, what he brought to the community and to the nation."
-- Gary Matthews on the entire Angels team wearing No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson. (Los Angeles Times)
"I feel for him. It's so frustrating. You feel good, then you do something and it hurts again, and you're back at square one. One bad move and you have to start all over."
-- Joe Crede on fellow third baseman Eric Chavez of the A's and all of the back problems he has gone through. Crede had the same microdiscectomy procedure that Chavez underwent only five months earlier. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"It's a real redemptive game. We'll see what happens, but I'm at a place I feel I'm ready for it. I'm not putting all my eggs in that one start. I feel I have a lot to offer. I'm going to try to live in the moment of it and see what happens."
--Mariners pitcher R.A. Dickey on getting a spot in the Mariners' rotation. Dickey, a former No. 1 draft pick as a starting pitcher, has fought through injuries to come back as a reliever. (Seattle Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.