Sep 23, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) during the fifth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
To say that Jose Quintana has struggled during Spring Training would be an understatement. In his five starts, Quintana has posted a 0-2 record with a 16.36 ERA, a 2.273 WHiP and has more walks than strikeouts. Such numbers would seemingly be enough for a ticket to the minor leagues, just to make sure that his mechanics were in order. Instead, the White Sox do not appear to be concerned by Quintana’s struggles, signing him to a five year extension that could be worth $26.5 Million overall.
Quintana has certainly appeared to be a possible piece for the White Sox to build around in the rotation. While he could eventually develop into a top of the rotation starter, Quintana is, at minimum, a solid middle of the rotation piece. Last season, despite the White Sox only winning 63 games, Quintana was able to put together a 9-7 record with a 3.51 ERA, striking out 164 batters in 200.2 innings. If healthy, there is seemingly no reason to expect that Quintana would not be able to provide approximately 200 mostly worry free innings.
For a team that is rebuilding as the White Sox are, it is vital to identify players that could be key contributors when the team is ready to contend once again. With Chris Sale and Jose Quintana locked in through 2019 and 2020 respectively if the team options are picked up, both pitchers should be major pieces when the White Sox are back in the playoff hunt.
As we often hear, Spring Training statistics do not mean anything. There are the caveats of small sample size and the fact that pitchers are not facing full major league lineups until later in the spring, if at all. Yet, those are the only statistics we have to attempt to measure how a player is performing. As much as the rest of us may be concerned about Quintana’s lackluster Spring, the White Sox seemingly do not share that trepidation.
The White Sox certainly hope they are correct. Although the financial obligations are not that high, the White Sox need to have a second pitcher to line up with Sale in the rotation. They need Jose Quintana to be that pitcher.