McTaggart's article on Quintero has some interesting things about Quintero:
1. He was paying attention over the last couple of years:
"(Ausmus) taught me a lot of things, and I learned a lot from him. I appreciated that. I'm seeing what other catchers and our catchers are doing, and I'm going from there and learning. These last two years, I've had two of the best catchers in the big leagues, and I think I've learned something from those guys."
2. Winter ball is bad for spring:
Unlike he did last year, Quintero said he doesn't plan to play winter ball in his native Venezuela over the offseason and will stay in Houston to work out. He skipped winter ball following the 2007 season and reported to Spring Training in great shape, hitting .341 that spring. He played winter ball following last year and hit .116 in Spring Training.
3. Quintero wants to stay:
"I'm happy, and I hope I'm going to have more years here. I would love to stay here and come here next year and be ready for spring. Hopefully I can do that and we make the playoffs next year."
4. The Astros are likely to grant that wish, according to McTaggart:
The Astros are likely to keep Quintero in the catching mix in 2010 as they wait for No. 1-ranked prospect Jason Castro to reach the Majors, likely sometime next season.
At some point the Astros are going to have to do something with Towles. I'm not one to comment on other bloggers' posts, but Chip Bailey at the Chronicle suggested shifting him to second base, as that worked out pretty well for Craig Biggio. It can't hurt. If the Astros bring Coste back - and I don't know if that would happen - the Astros would have Quintero/Coste/Castro (at some point)/Towles. That's a lot of catchers. Too many. If they get rid of Coste and go with a Quintero/Castro platoon, with Towles as C3, we're getting to where he needs to be given a shot with another team.