Tag Archive for Omar Quintanilla

Not for Nothing

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal today makes note of the 13 ballplayers known to have worn No. 0 — and perhaps the 14th, Mets reserve shortstop Omar Quintanilla.

0My first reaction upon seeing that article was to think there must have been more than 13 so far but it checks out at least according to Baseball-Reference.com. Amazinly, two players wore No. 0 as Mets — Terry McDaniel in 1991 and Rey Ordonez in 1996-97 — while Junior Ortiz went on to wear 0 in his post Mets career (Junior was a rare No. 34 position player in orange and blue). There’s actually been more 00s in baseball history than 0s — 19 overall. That group includes Tony Clark, who wore it for the Mets in 2003 — at least until it was pointed out that he was sharing a number that otherwise belonged to Mr. Met.

Clark initially took 00 upon joining the Mets as a late-arriving free agent during 2003’s spring training. With jerseys already assigned, the veteran said he preferred taking 00 to the selections in the 80s that were otherwise available then. Ironically, when Clark switched — to No. 52 — he became the first Met player to appear wearing that number too. Former Met reliever Rick White — a 51 in New York — wore 00 later in his career.

00As for Quintanilla, he explains that like Clark he preferred a number more befitting to his stature and experience — modest as it may be — when he rejoined the team this winter on a minor league contract after seeing his most recent assignment, No. 3, issued to newly arrived free agent Curtis Granderson. What Diamond’s article fails to mention is that the uni switch was the second in as many deals for Quintanilla, who saw his 2012 assignment  of No. 6 issued to Kelly Shoppach and then Marlon Byrd while he was away with Baltimore.

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Once, Twice, Three Times A Quintanilla

Making small headlines over the weekend was the Mets’ annual signing of reserve infielder Omar Quintanilla to a minor league deal. This marks the third winter in a row they’ve done exactly that, and Quintanilla twice now has gone on to play a bigger role than that minor assignment might have indicated.

Now if that happens a third time (and given the Mets shortstop situation why wouldn’t it?) we’ll be in for an interesting dilemma. Quintanilla wore No. 6 his first time through town, but by the time he’d been dealt off to Baltimore and returned the jersey went to Kelly Shoppach, then to Marlon Byrd, then, most recently, to Matt den Dekker. Quintanilla instead was issued No. 3 for 2013; a move that incidentally forced Josh Satin to a new number (13). Now between his release in December and annual January return the Mets have assigned No. 3 to Curtis Granderson, assuring that Quintanilla, should he return to active duty in 2014, do so in his third different uniform number.

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New Numbers Issued

Adam Rubin of ESPN got a hold of the list, and it looks like this (new issues in bold):

1. Jordany Valdespin
2. Justin Turner
3. Omar Quintanilla
4. Collin Cowgill
5. David Wright
6. Marlon Byrd
9. Kirk Nieuwenhuis
11. Ruben Tejada
12. Brandon Hicks
15. Travis d’Arnaud
16. Brian Bixler
19. Zach Lutz
20. Anthony Recker
21. Lucas Duda
22. Landon Powell
23. Mike Baxter
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy
29. Ike Davis
30. LaTroy Hawkins
32. Jenrry Mejia
33. Matt Harvey
34. Brandon Lyon
35. Dillon Gee
36. Collin McHugh
38. Shaun Marcum
39. Bobby Parnell
40. Tim Byrdak
44. John Buck
46. Greg Burke
47. Aaron Laffey
48. Frank Francisco
49. Jonathon Niese
50. Scott Atchison
52. Carlos Torres
53. Jeremy Hefner
55. Pedro Feliciano
56. Scott Rice
57. Johan Santana
58. Cesar Puello
60. Darin Gorski
61. Wilmer Flores
62. Elvin Ramirez
63. Juan Lagares
64. Reese Havens
65. Zack Wheeler
66. Josh Edgin
67. Hansel Robles
68. Matt den Dekker
70. Wilfredo Tovar
71. Gonzalez Germen
72. Juan Centeno
73. Robert Carson
74. Rafael Montero
75. Cory Mazzoni
76. Josh Satin
77. Andrew Brown
80. Jamie Hoffmann

Couple of interesting things to point out here:

* Josh Satin tumbling from 3 all the way to 64

* Pedro Feliciano coming full-circle to reacquire the 55 first issued to him when he was a throw-in in the Shawn Estes Trade.

* Frank Francisco staying in 48 while newcomer Scott Atchison gets 50: I will bet that changes.

* Omar Quintanilla getting No. 3 while 6 (his last number) goes instead to Marlon Byrd. I would guess that changes, with Byrd taking whichever of 20 or 22 are surrendered by the backup catchers Recker and/or Powell.

* On the other hand, LaTroy Hawkins has been 22 or 32 for nearly his entire career, so looks like he’d take Powell’s 22.

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Waiting on the Countdown

Hi again!

Only days until we’ll know what numbers the Mets will issue to their new personnel, and there’s a lot of it. That includes at least 12 guys on the 40-man roster yet to have been issued a number, and at least a dozen more with spring training invites. And that doesn’t include the couple of brand-name goods they may still buy this spring, Brandon Lyon (frequently but not always, 38) and Michael Bourne (most recently, 24 with Atlanta).

Let’s start with a few good guesses. Shawn Marcum wore 18 last year with Milwaukee. That gives me an uncomfortable 10-year flashback to Jeff D’Amico, like Marcum a veteran junkball pitcher via Milwaukee, recovering from an injury, wearing 18. But that would require Tim Teufel changes his shirt (could Ruben Tejada surrender 11 in a chain reaction?) Marcum also has some equity in 28, although that belongs to Daniel Murphy. 38 would work as long as they don’t issue it to Lyon should he come aboard.

Frank Francisco wore No. 50 throughout his career, but the Mets did not issue that last year and Francisco took 48. We could see him switch this year.

John Buck, acquired in the Dickey deal, wears 14 most frequently but with that retired here could wear 4 or if he dares, 44. Travis D’Arnaud appears to prefer 16. Zach Wheeler, as per his Twitter handle, appears to prefer 45, which is available. Omar Quintanila is back on a minor league deal and could reacquire No. 6, and Josh Satin could take back No. 3, but no guarantees for either. Finally there’s the complicated case of Pedro Feliciano, who’s worn 55, 39 and 25 in his Met stints. Who knows what they give him this time. His coming back to the Mets without having appeared at all for the Yankees and their arrogant general manager is about the greatest thing ever. I’m less certain he’s got anything left, but that’s what the invite is for.

The rest of the new guys are more or less unknown quanties and likely to take what’s given them.

The following numbers are currently un-issued: 3,4 ,6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 30, 40, 43-47, 50, 55, 56, 58, 60, 61, 63-65, 67-72, 74-99, not to mention 0 and 00.

The following players need assignment, as per the Mets official roster: Pitchers Greg Burke, Gonzalez German, Darrin Gorski, Marcum, Hansel Robles and Wheeler; Catchers Buck, D’Arnaud,and  Anthony Recker, infielders Brandon Hicks and Wilfredo Tovar; and outfielder Collin Cowgill.

Nonroster invitees awaiting unis: Pitchers Scot Atchison, Feliciano, LaTroy Hawkins, Aaron Laffey, Cory Mazzoni, Rafael Montero, and Carlos Torres; Catchers Juan Centeno and Landon Powell; Infielders Brian Bixler and Satin; and outfielders Andrew Brown, Marlon Byrd and Matt den Dekker.

See you in St. Lucie!

(Headline influence by Lindsay Buckingham).

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Mets by the Letters

A remark in the comments section in the previous entry, noting that slugging middle infielder Omar Quintanilla had become the Mets’ first Q surname and the 25th letter represented overall, inspired the following attempt to field a team of Mets using each letter of the alphabet only once. Thanks for the inspiration and the post-list suggestions. I like this team’s chances even if Seaver might have to sit to get Strawberry’s bat in the lineup. Isn’t that so Metly?

Starting pitchers (5)
Gooden, SP
Koosman, SP
Leiter, SP
Seaver, SP
Viola, SP

Relievers (6)
Dotel
Franco
Innis
McGraw
Orosco
Zachry

Catchers (2)
Carter
Piazza

Infielders (6)
Alfonzo, 2B-3B
Hernandez, 1B
Quintanilla, SS-2B
Reyes, SS
Teufel, 2B
Wright, 3B

Outfielders (6)
Beltran
Everett
C. Jones
Nieuwenhuis
Unser
Youngblood

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Back in Circulation

Omar Quintanilla this evening will become the 39th player to suit up for the Mets in the No. 6 jersey and the first since Nick Evans wrestled it away from Ramon Martinez in 2008 and began four years of bobbing recalls and DFAs typical of classic Met sixers. Quintanilla replaces the roster slot of Justin Turner who went down with an ankle injury yesterday. As noted here often, No. 6 is the official address of the Met scrub, having been issued more times than any other jersey in team history. Back in 2009, I counted down the 10 greatest sixes in Mets history: A revised version would probably have to include Evans for sheer persistence in waiting around for another turn — and getting them — in the face of so many invitations to take a hike.

Also back tonight is Chris Schwinden, rapidly becoming Evans’ pitching equivalent. He’s up for Manny Acosta but likely just holding a spot in line for someone better. That they designated Acosta for assignment is less of a mystery than why Terry Collins chose to use him in a 1-run game the Mets still had a chance to win, but Manny, like so many of those who dared to wear No. 46 before him, is leaving the Mets in disgrace.

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