The Cubs reported some good news for their pitching staff on a day the bullpen suffered a massive blow in losing Rowan Wick to the injured list.
Lefty José Quintana is set to rejoin the team next week during the Cubs’ four-game series against the Pirates, manager David Ross said Saturday. Ross added Quintana threw “great” and felt good in a 20-pitch simulated game on Saturday.
Quintana hit the IL with left lat inflammation on Sept. 2 and last pitched on Aug. 30 against the Reds. He’s only made two appearances this season after missing the first month of the season with a left thumb injury sustained before summer training camp.
Quintana threw three innings in each of those outings but will need time to build up his pitch count. The Cubs plan to use him in relief upon his return and Ross on Saturday targeted using him for 1-2 innings per outing to start off.
"And then if we can build on top of that, great," Ross said. "If not, if we don’t have that opportunity, then we’ll try to stretch him out in some of the down time."
The Cubs will have only seven games remaining, at most, when Quintana returns, less if he isn’t activated for Monday’s series opener against Pittsburgh.
"If we never get to stretch him out," Ross continued, "then he’ll stay a bullpen piece and we’ll use him that way.
"I think a lot of it depends on how he performs and how he feels after going out there and getting back in the mix."
With lefty Andrew Chafin activated Saturday, the Cubs currently have four southpaws in their bullpen, along with Kyle Ryan, Josh Osich and Rex Brothers.