Chicago Cubs: Expectations for Jose Quintana in 2018

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 03: Starting pitcher Jose Quintana
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 03: Starting pitcher Jose Quintana /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – SEPTEMBER 24: Jose Quintana /

The Chicago Cubs swung a block-buster trade with the White Sox at the trade deadline for Jose Quintana. What can the Cubs expect from the southpaw in 2018?

This past summer, Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs’ front office dealt two top prospects, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, to the White Sox in exchange for Jose Quintana. Quintana joined a Cubs’ staff that had struggled during the first half of the 2017 season.

Collectively, the North Siders’ pitching had a 4.10 ERA, .489 winning percentage and had allowed 105 home runs at the All-Star break. Less than one week after being acquired by the Cubs, Quintana made his first start, on the road against the Orioles. Quintana fired 100 pitches over seven innings of shut-out baseball. In addition to not allowing a run, Quintana struck out 12 Baltimore batters and did not issue a walk.

That dominant performance by Quintana helped the Cubs win their third straight game and extended what would become a six-game win streak following the All-Star break.

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Following his dominant outing, Quintana would go on to post a 5.73 ERA in the month of August, allowing 33 hits in as many innings. Despite his rough month, Quintana seemed to settle down in September, posting a 2.51 ERA with 36 strikeouts and just four walks in five starts.

Quintana’s up-and-down few months as a Cub left many Cubs fans wondering which pitcher will show-up in 2018. Will the dominant Quintana challenge for a Cy Young award in 2018 or will the August Quintana show-up and end up relegated to the back-end of the rotation? My guess is someone in between will hold down the number three spot in the Cubs’ rotation in 2018. But how well will Quintana pitch next season?

Let’s take our best shot at answering that question.