The Phillies were going to sign a veteran backstop even before Carlos Ruiz was suspended for Adderall. Unfortunately, career mediocrity Humberto Quintero will be forced onto the active roster for at least 25 games in 2013.
Quintero: True story. The moment I heard the Ruiz news I told a colleague the Phils would sign this exact guy. Quintero, 33, isn't any different than all the other catch-and-throw back-ups who get passed around the league year after year. Quintero, in fact, was the property of three different teams in 2012: Kansas City, Milwaukee and Miami. He squatted in 43 games with the Royals last season, didn't hit (.237/.257/.341) and spent the remainder of the string in the minors. We've seen him a lot with the Astros, where he failed as a starter around 2009-2010. I remember him as having a good arm. I'm quite certain he's going to stink.
Chooch: Not to be a blowhard about this but cheating is cheating, at least in the gospel of baseball, and it's tough to empathize with someone who was previously warned and failed a second test. Does Major League Baseball need to refine their drug policy for perscription substances like Adderall, which other Phillies take and continue to take? Sure, it seems like a gray area. And should Chooch suffer a Mitchell Report-type disgrace for taking the same drug Shane Victorino takes legally? Probably not.
However, baseball has rulled this as a banned enhancer, Chooch knew the rules from flunking the first time, and if you're in denial that Adderall enhances performace the way HGH and others have in the past, there's a near .200 OPS spike that's working against you my friend.
... and this coming from Chooch's No. 1 fan.
Lopez: Jim Salisbury reports the Phils are closing in on a deal to acquire 29-year-old right-handed reliever Wilton Lopez from the Astros. Very overlooked sinkerballer and strike thrower, controllable through 2016. I'm a big fan of trading for stuff this year (Dexter Fowler, 8th inning help). Like this approach a lot and have always hated addressing the middle-to-late innings through free agency (obviously). Lopez and Fowler are in their prime. The Phils are in pretty desperate need of that and can't box themselves in with anymore mega free agent deals.