Philadelphia took measures to add to their organizational catching depth on Tuesday, agreeing to a minor league deal with veteran Humberto Quintero. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Quintero is expected to come to Spring Training in the mix to win the team’s backup role.
The 33 year old has spent the better part of the past ten seasons in the Major Leagues, spending the bulk of that time with the Houston Astros. Over 1,281 plate appearances across 422 games he’s a .234/.267/.323 hitter. He’s never hit for much power and does not walk much, but generally he’s been regarded as a quality defensive backstop which has helped lead to continued roles as a backup. Quintero was traded towards the end of Spring Training last year to the Kansas City Royals, upon which he batted just .232/.257/.341 over 144 plate appearances before the team released him in early July. He’d latch on with Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate before month’s end, finishing the season there.
While Quintero has never been a highly sought after option behind the plate, he’s often been viewed as a reliable backup. With Philadelphia he may get an opportunity for more, at least initially, as the organization learned just a few hours later that starter Carlos Ruiz would miss the first 25 games of the 2013 season, serving a suspension for a repeat violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Ruiz tested positive for a second time for Adderall, a drug often prescribed to treat ADD and the most recent culprit behind numerous suspensions across the NFL this season. Ruiz had been warned previously about his use of the drug, but it seems he did not heed such warnings.
Quintero now comes to Spring Training as a favorite to see an increase in playing time during the season’s first few weeks, along with incumbent backup Erik Kratz.