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Bandits in the Professional Ranks: “Q” spends entire 2009 Season in “the Show”

“Q” was the ESPN # 1 Play of the Day for his “magellan” route to catch a fly ball.

DENVER — Bandit Omar Quintanilla was not in El Paso, Texas, with his mother, Olga. Nonetheless, he delivered a huge Mother’s Day surprise.
“Actually, I called her this morning but I didn’t tell her that I was going to be starting,” Quintanilla said from the Rockies’ clubhouse the morning of Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Marlins — the first time he has been in the starting lineup this season. “So, hopefully, she’ll be watching.” “Mother’s Day Sunday” marked his first start in 2009.

Quintanilla is a strong enough infield defender to play shortstop regularly. But the Rockies had the luxury of moving Clint Barmes from second to short when Troy Tulowitzki needed time to work on his hitting slump. Colorado also has Ian Stewart and Jeff Baker (currently on the disabled list with a left wrist sprain), both of whom can hit for power when they’re swinging well.

It doesn’t leave much playing time for Quintanilla.

“You’re in the show,” Quintanilla said. “There’s nothing better than this. I just go out there, take care of myself and support my team. I cheer them on, get them motivated and stay ready.”

Folks who can’t appreciate the opportunity don’t stick around long. Neither do folks who think not playing is equal to not working. Quintanilla, 27, makes a $408,000 salary, and realizes someone else would be happy to have it. If he slips to the Minors, his salary reduces to $208,515 — certainly not bad, but no one in any job wants such a precipitous salary cut.

Kyle Anson was a “non roster invitee” and optioned out of the New York Yankees Major League camp and sent to their minor league camp. Anson wore # 81 and played catcher before his reassignment. Last year Anson finished up with the Tampa Yankees the “A” affiliate where he hit .241 with an increase in his power numbers. This Spring he caught Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke, A J Burnett, Kei Igawa, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy in exhibition games. Anson began 2009 with the Class A Tampa Yankees in Florida. He recently got promoted to AA Trenton Thunder where he has assumed the starting catcher role upon the call up of Francisco Cervelli to the Yankees major league roster. His current batting average is .216.

Lance Sewell ended up throwing 78 innings in High “A” ball for the Oakland A’s Kane County Cougars affiliate. He posted a 2.88 earned run average and a 5-5 record. Sewell started the season at Low “A” affiliate Vancouver Canadians before earning his promotion. Lance is assigned to Minor League camp this Spring Training. Sewell had an impressive first spring inning for the A’s High-A squad. The lefty, who uses a very unorthodox throwing motion, faced the minimum, striking out the first batter, then picking off a runner after he reached on a single and then retiring the final batter on a pop-up. Recently Sewell was promoted to the Stockton Ports where he currently sports a 0.00 ERA with his new team.