Ned Yost and the American League All-Stars have already had to replace two pitchers on their roster, but White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana hasn’t been called upon to head to San Diego.
Quintana, who earned his seventh win of the season in the White Sox 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, said he feels he’s deserving of an All-Star bid but realizes that decision is well out of his hands.
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez and Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber were named the replacements for injured Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel and Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada, respectively.
“I don’t have control with that,” Quintana said. “But I think I deserve the All-Star (game). I just try to keep going, do my job, and one (day) I can take that opportunity.”
Quintana was given five runs of support on Saturday, which stands as a relative rarity for the 27-year-old left-hander. The White Sox have scored three or fewer runs in 10 of Quintana’s 18 starts this year and have scored five or more runs three times. That lack of run support — which has strangely dogged him since entering the league in 2012 — goes a long way toward explaining his 7-8 record this season.
Quintana has yet to win 10 or more games in a single season in his career despite a career ERA around 3.40.
On Saturday, Quintana was supported by three Todd Frazier RBIs — a two-run homer an RBI double — as well as RBI singles from Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera.
“I don't know if (Quintana) knows what to do with himself,” manager Robin Ventura said.
Nate Jones held on to the lead late, striking out Nick Markakis with the tying run on second in the eighth and finishing off his four-out save despite loading the bases in the ninth.
While he picked up a win that might lead to him being viewed a little more favorably by some old-school evaluations, Quintana’s ERA rose from 3.06 to 3.21 and his FIP went up from 3.21 to 3.48 after his start Saturday. Still, he entered the day with the second-highest fWAR of any American League starter, only behind Kluber.
“Jose is a great pitcher, and he’s done an excellent job this year,” White Sox closer David Robertson said. “He’s definitely deserving of a shot to go to the All-Star Game.”
Quintana is on pace for his fourth consecutive season with 200 or more innings pitches and his third straight year with an ERA below 3.40. But for whatever reason — which very well could have something to do with his lack of wins — he hasn’t made an All-Star team yet.
“Somebody gets dinged every year,” Ventura said. “The list is long. That part's unfortunate. You take away the wins and losses and he's up there in any category that matters. We know how good he is. You'd like to see him get there, absolutely.”
While Quintana and the White Sox might be disappointed to see him left off the All-Star roster, there was a positive takeaway from Saturday’s game. Quintana and Braves starter Julio Teheran — a friend of Quintana’s — combined to become the first pair of Colombia-born pitchers to start against each other in a major league game.
A group of fans flew a Colombian flag from a suite down the left field line, and Quintana said this White Sox-Braves game was a big deal back in his home nation.
“That’s good for my country,” Quintana said. “I think we have better baseball now. That’s good for us. I’m really proud for that.
“I think Colombia won today.”
Teheran is heading to San Diego next week to represent the Braves in the All-Star Game. Barring a last-minute change, Quintana won’t be there to join him. But Frazier — who will also be on his way to Petco Park after Sunday’s game to participate in the Home Run Derby — is confident Quintana will make an All-Star roster at some point.
“People look at numbers all the time, man — I think sometimes it is a shame because he pitches great,” Frazier said. “I don’t know what his ERA is, but I know it’s really good … It’s just the way it goes. If he keeps doing that I know he’s going to (be) an All-Star for sure, eventually.”