(Jim McIsaac, Getty Images )
The newest Oriole, 30-year-old infielder Omar Quintanilla, arrived in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon with his New York Metsduffel bag slung over his shoulder.
He’ll be getting a new bag from the Orioles, who acquired the career .218 hitter for cash Friday. He made his debut Saturday night in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement at second base. The guess is he may get his first start Sunday or Monday in Cleveland.
Here’s an interview with Quintanilla conducted shortly after he arrived in the Orioles’ clubhouse
What’s the last week been like?
"It’s been a little hectic. They designated me in New York to make room for a great player [Jason Bay]. And [Ruben] Tejada and [Daniel] Murphy are doing well and they had to make room. I knew that day would come. To get picked up by Baltimore is a blessing, being up here again in the big leagues. I am up here to do my job, take it day by day and go from there.”
Although you are naturally a shortstop, would you be comfortable playing primarily second for the Orioles?
“I’m good with that. I have played second base in the past. I really haven’t played it recently. But I can adapt real quick. As far as a starting job, I am here to do whatever they want me to do. Second base, shortstop or third and I’ll go out there and play hard and do anything I can to help this team win.”
What was your mindset this past week?
“It was real uncertain. All I could do is I went home [to El Paso, Texas] and kept working out and waited for a phone call to see what was going to happen.”
Why do you think your .350 OBP this year is so much higher than your career .278 mark?
“I think it’s just the repetition. Playing every day helps a lot. Whereas in the past I was pinch-hitting here and there and that was a little tougher for me. So getting out there, the repetition, seeing different pitches, helps you a lot.”
Your former college teammate Taylor Teagarden says you can do a lot of little things to help a team win. How would you describe yourself?
“I’m kind of like a scrappy player. I’ll go out there and give it my all. And try to do anything to help the team win.”
What are your thoughts going from one unexpected contender to another?
“It’s great. Playing for a winning team is always a privilege, to be in that hunt for October. You never know. You might be in the right spot and take the whole thing. I’ll just come here and keep doing what the team is doing.”
Can you keep the .350 on-base percentage going?
“It is something I take pride in. You want to be on base all the time for the big boppers. I’ll go out there and take every at-bat seriously. That’s my thing, to try and get on base every time.”