Quiroz finds niche in pinch-hit role for Giants

Quiroz finds niche in pinch-hit role for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Guillermo Quiroz has seized the opportunity that playing in the National League has afforded him.

The reserve catcher is 3-for-5 as a pinch-hitter. Performing entirely for American League clubs, who use pinch-hitters less frequently, Quiroz accumulated only six pinch-hit plate appearances from 2004-2012 and went 0-for-5.

Though Quiroz is the only Giants position player not to start a game, he senses that he has at least a chance of coming off the bench, given manager Bruce Bochy's belief in using his entire roster and the flexibility of having three catchers at his disposal.

"I'm starting to feel comfortable now," Quiroz said. "I know I'm probably going to come up sometime in the game. The American League was a lot different."

Some pinch-hitters swing at the first pitch they like. But Quiroz is willing to be patient.

"My ideal plan is to work the count," he said.

Quiroz engineered that kind of at-bat Monday night against Arizona starter Wade Miley, making the left-hander throw seven pitches before lining a 2-2 delivery for a single. His other two pinch-hits came on counts of 2-0 and 0-1, reflecting his ability to adjust.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.