The Chicago Cubs’ Jose Quintana has gone through a difficult season. He’s had some good outings–and he’s also had some terrible one. So which Quintana are we likely to see.
When it comes to the Chicago Cubs’ Jose Quintana, he’s like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get. Alright, that was a bit old, I admit. But it’s fitting. Quintana has been lights out against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds. But he’s struggled against the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves. Two good teams, two bad teams. So what gives for Quintana?
For Quintana, it’s a hard guess as to why he’s struggled as much as he has. In two games against the Brewers (one home, one away), he’s pitched 13 innings allowing just five hits and 13 strikeouts. But against the Braves? He’s thrown seven innings (both at Wrigley) allowing 13 runs (16 earned) while striking out seven. And he’s given up four home runs while walking seven. He’s found his way against the Crew, so why not the Braves?
Problems with the sinker
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It’s slightly more difficult than that. But one of the frustrations has been the sinker. With his sinker this season, he’s just a 7.79 whiff/swing rate. That translates to a 17.65 HR/(FB+LD), or a high of 1.84 home run rate. The problem is he’s getting the sinker elevated and hitters are taking it deep.
It’s not everywhere
Now it’s not every time out that it’s happening. And it’s at different ballparks. First, I think we should forego Quintana against the Braves. He’s had terrible luck against them, and if we’re honest? If the Cubs play them in the playoffs, skip him. He can be on the roster, but no reason we can’t skip him.
That being said, you have to figure out where his issue is at this season. His sinker is garnering a pretty high GB rate, but the rest seem to find their way out. It may be a tweak in his mechanics or something that someone isn’t catching.
But whatever it is, the Cubs need to figure it out and fast. The Cubs have club options for the next two seasons. You don’t want to go into the next season with a pitcher that doesn’t know what he’s doing. We’re already dealing with Tyler Chatwood ad Yu Darvish. We don’t need any more wildcards.
Tonight will be a big night for Quintana. If he can keep the sinker down, he can keep the game at hand and not let the pitch count get away from him. Here’s hoping for a big game from Q.