Adbert Alzolay will start instead of José Quintana in the Cubs’ regular season finale on Sunday against the White Sox, manager David Ross said Friday.
Quintana was lined up to start Sunday on normal rest after starting Tuesday in Pittsburgh. He pitched two innings against the Pirates, and as he continues to stretch out, the Cubs want to get a look at him out of the bullpen before the postseason.
“We’ll continue to try and balance him getting his pitches and still being able to get some experience coming out of the pen,” Ross said of Quintana.
Ross said this past weekend the Cubs will use Quintana for 1-2 innings per outing initially. He added they would try to stretch him out further in their down time, if they couldn't during games.
Quintana threw 34 pitches on Tuesday. Alzolay piggybacked him out of the bullpen, tossing four innings of two-hit, one-run ball. He walked two and struck out seven, throwing 63 pitches.
The Cubs only need three starters in their best-of-three first-round series next week. If they advance to the NLDS (Oct. 6-10), they could need a fourth starter, as there are no in-series off days this year.
Quintana has allowed five earned runs in three games (eight innings) this season. Over his last two outings, he's allowed just two earned runs in five innings.
In five games (three starts) this season, Alzolay holds a 3.31 ERA, striking out 21 compared to 11 walks in 16 1/3 innings.