GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Quintana looked to be in midseason form Friday night, when he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Colombia's World Baseball Classic opener against the United States at Marlins Park in Miami.
Quintana allowed one run on one hit with one walk and four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings, with his outing cut short after 63 pitches due to the WBC's 65-pitch limit for starters. And he did it against a stacked American lineup, too, featuring perennial All-Stars like Nolan Arenado, Buster Posey and Giancarlo Stanton.
"He's really, really, really good," White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon said. "It's hard to say he's underrated. He faced an All-Star lineup and literally no hit them. That speaks for itself."
Quintana left with a 2-0 lead but earned a no-decision -- an all-too-frequent occurrence for him on 35th and Shields since 2012 -- as the United States rallied to win, 3-2, in the 10th inning.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria doesn't have any qualms about the team's ace left-hander pitching thousands of miles away in south Florida, especially with the reasonable pitch limits placed on him and other starting pitchers. The idea of Quintana throwing stressful pitches while pitching for his country isn't something that concerned Renteria, either, with the first-year White Sox skipper pointing to Quintana's consistently calm, even keel demeanor.
"I'm not worried about Q," Renteria said. "He knows his routine, he knows how to prepare. I have no reservations about how he handles how he's supposed to be moving along."
Colombia eliminated Canada from the first round of group play on Saturday but will have to beat out the U.S. or Dominican Republic for a spot in Pool F, the games of which will take place in San Diego March 14-19. Whenever Quintana does return to the White Sox, Renteria said he may pitch in some ‘B' or minor league games at Camelback Ranch given the intensity level with which he pitched during the WBC.
After the White Sox dealt Chris Sale and Adam Eaton to the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals, respectively, in December, all eyes turned toward Quintana and the possibility the team moves the 27-year-old as part of their rebuild. Quintana doesn't have to prove himself in baseball circles -- his 3.41 ERA and inexpensive contract speak for themselves -- but he doesn't have the on-field panache of a guy like Sale.
That's not a bad thing, of course -- "Strong walls in the head right there," Rodon said, tapping the side of his head. And it's part of the reason why the White Sox aren't worried about releasing him to the Colombian national team for this March competition.
"He's definitely an ace," Rodon said. "One of the best ones. Easily in the top 10."