Five magical months ago, the Phillies reached out to Humberto Quintero.
He wasn’t very good, or accurate, or powerful, or effective, sought after, but he did have one thing the Phillies needed: a guy with his own catching gear. And with their back-up catcher, Erik Kratz, forced into full time service by the suspension of Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies needed someone back there to get hit by the ball so the batter wouldn’t have to run and retrieve it after every pitch.
As Hardball Talk pointed out at the time, the deal Quintero got was completed before news of Chooch’s punishment was revealed, meaning – gasp – did the Phillies actually want Quintero for who he was?
No. They more than likely were making assumptions, based on practical logic. With Chooch back, the Phillies don’t have to be logical anymore, as Chooch defies all logic. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the man the team has so easily cast aside.
November 27, 2012
The adventure began with a tweet from Jim Salisbury: the Phillies signed Humberto Quintero and invited him to spring training. Would he be a part of the opening day squad? Would he not be that? The possibilities were
March 30, 2013
Quintero edges out Steven Lerud for the back-up catcher role. In trademark “Steven Lerud” fashion, Steven Lerud does nothing newsworthy and quietly accepts his assignment to triple-A.
April 6, 2013
Quintero picks Miguel Tejada off third, setting the stage for Kevin Frandsen’s bases clearing, game-winning double in the bottom of the ninth, which would have been far less effective had the Royals scored more runs. He also debuts his walk-up music in his first home start for the Phillies.
April 8, 2013
Quintero finds himself at the middle of controversy, as he goes from fringe-catcher, invited to camp out of necessity to guy who has been tasked with fixing Roy Halladay. Doc made it clear Erik Kratz may not a great match for him, thus insinuating that the Phillies put Quintero out there. Which they did.
Roy Halladay then gave up seven runs, all of them earned.
April 19, 2013
Quintero has perhaps his best offensive performance for the Phillies, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a miraculous Roy Halladay performance. Of course, there are two phantom innings that weren’t played due to rain, in which we can assume Quintero’s positive contributions would have very well been negated by some comical ineptitude. But we shall never know.
April 24, 2013
Quintero needs some help from Michael Young to catch a foul pop-up for some reason.
April 27, 2013
Presumably as a cruel joke, the Phillies have Quintero catch the night before Chooch comes back, aka the night Quintero’s departure is more imminent than people making fun of Kyle Kendrick for no reason.
April 29, 2013
Quintero’s final line with the Phillies:
And so, we bid farewell to one of the most back-up catchers in Phillies history. His legacy will live on long after everyone has forgotten whatever his name was.