Chicago Cubs: Is the Jose Quintana era coming to a sudden close?
Chicago Cubs: The organization’s depth arms will need to step in during Quintana’s absence.
Right now, the most logical choice to step into the rotation is Alec Mills. The 28-year old was in the mix for the fifth starter position during the initial spring training back in March. Tyler Chatwood was the guy to beat for that position back before the Quintana injury. Mills has made six starts as a Cub and last year pitched to a 2.75 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 42 strikeouts vs. 11 walks in 36 innings.
Other options on the main camp roster working out at Wrigley Field include Colin Rea and Duane Underwood Jr. Rea was a starter in Triple-A last season, making 26 starts and pitching to a 3.95 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He would be more likely to start over Underwood, who spent much of his time in Triple-A last year pitching out of the bullpen. Underwood has one career MLB start under his belt, which came in 2018 against the Dodgers.
Then there is Adbert Alzolay. He is working out with the South Bend group as he was optioned in spring. Alzolay is one of the bigger-name prospects in the Cubs farm and is seen as a potential future rotation piece. Last year he pitched in four games and made two starts. His overall numbers were not great with a 7.30 ERA, 1.78 WHIP and 7.75 FIP in 12.1 innings. The sample size is small, and we saw the promise in his stuff, so being part of the future, he might be utilized if given a chance.
If this is the end of Jose Quintana’s tenure as a Cub, I can say it was a complicated one. Overall the numbers are very “meh”. A 4.23 ERA, 1.3 WHIP, 3.95 FIP and 8.5 K/9 in 429.2 innings. We saw him pitch some great games and have some good stretches. Not as big of a deal if the Cubs had not given the White Sox two potential future All-Stars in Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
He pitched well in 2017 when he first came over (3.74 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 10.5 K/9), but 2018 and 2019 were inconsistent. Sox were always going to win longterm, but the Cubs wanted more for their return from a guy who was very consistently good on the South Side.