Chicago Cubs: Evaluating Jose Quintana’s year
By Erik Mauro
After pitching in the World Baseball Classic in March, Jose Quintana got off to a rough start with the White Sox for the first few months of the season. Then, in a stunning move during the All-Star break, Quintana was traded to the North Side, in exchange for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Bryant Flete and Nick Rose.
During the 2017 season with the White Sox, Jose Quintana posted a 4.49 ERA, 4.02 FIP, and 109 K in 104.1 innings. So, a bit of bad luck, but still above his career averages. In 14 starts with the Cubs, he reverted to his old self. Jose posted a 3.74 ERA with a 3.25 FIP, with 98 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings. For the season, Quintana pitched 188 1/3 innings, with a 4.15 ERA, with a 3.68 FIP. Jose gave up just 170 hits, and recorded his first 200 strikeout season, with 207 strikeouts.
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In the playoffs, Q came through when the Cubs needed him too. In the NLDS against the Nationals, he pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run baseball, in a game the Cubs won, 2-1, and the Cubs would go on to win the series in five games. Then, in the first game of the LCS, he pitched five solid innings against the Dodgers.
That was coming just two days after pitching in relief against the Nationals in game five. Then, he pitched against the Dodgers again in game five of the LCS, and, much like the rest of the Cubs, he was burned out. Overall, he pitched in four games this postseason, making three starts. He posted a 5.40 ERA in 13 1/3 innings, walking five, and striking out 12.
One of the most significant questions, of course, was whether he could pitch well in the playoffs with the Cubs. He had never been to the postseason in his career with the White Sox. Jose proved he could pitch in the playoffs just fine, and that should be music to Cubs fans ears.
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Quintana has such a team friendly deal for the next three seasons. He makes $8.5 million in 2018, and then the salary is upped to $10.5 million for 2019 and 2020. The Cubs’ front office struggled so much with finding a cost-controlled starting pitcher. They finally found their guy, and, if this half a season is any indication, it should be a nice, healthy relationship between Quintana and the fans moving forward.