By Meg Wochnick The News Tribune
SEATTLE — When the Seattle Mariners signed veteran free-agent catcher Humberto Quintero, he flew into Seattle from his Houston home so fast that his luggage lagged behind.
“My clothes just got here (Saturday),” Quintero said.
The clothes came just in time for the 33-year-old Venezuelan get his first start behind the plate during Saturday’s 4-0 loss over the Twins. Quintero hit eighth and went 0-for-2 in two plate appearances in eight innings of work.
The start came just days after Quintero was designated for assignment by Philadelphia after hitting .250 over 24 games. The Mariners picked him up in free agency after clearing waivers, and he flew into Seattle just two hours before Friday’s 13-inning marathon. He worked in the bullpen during the 3-2 loss, getting acclimated with the pitching staff, then got the starting nod after Blanco caught the previous 18 consecutive innings.
“I’m happy to be here and happy to help the team,” said Quintero, who appeared in parts of 11 big-league seasons with the Astros, Padres, Royals and Phillies. “I’m ready.”
Starting pitcher Aaron Harang, who went five innings allowing just three hits on Saturday, said he and Quintero quickly meshed, thanks to their days as competitors in the National League.
“It was an easy adjustment for him, and an easy adjustment for me,” Harang said.
Maurer recalled, Noesi optioned
The Mariners recalled right-hander Brandon Maurer from Class AAA Tacoma, sending down right-hander Hector Noesi. Seattle manager Robby Thompson said Maurer will work out of the bullpen as the team’s long reliever after posting a 3-4 record and a 5.21 ERA over 10 starts with the Rainiers.
“He’s been throwing the ball really well, so we’ll give him a little different scenario out there and see how he is coming out of the bullpen.”
This latest stint with the Mariners was Noesi’s third this season, compiling a 0-1 record with a 5.64 ERA over nine appearances.