There’s only a month left in this short 2020 baseball season but make no mistake: José Quintana wants to play a big role for the Cubs the rest of the way.
“I want to start games,” Quintana said after Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to Detroit. “And I want to help my team. That’s all I want. That’s the reason we’re here, and to get results.”
Quintana's more impressive argument for a return to a rotation already filled with five healthy pitchers was delivered earlier Tuesday night in the form of three strong innings of work in his return from a thumb injury — after starter Tyler Chatwood failed to get out of the second inning in a second straight bad start.
"Q looked great," manager David Ross said. "I thought Q looked really sharp."
As for what that might mean for Quintana's or Chatwood's role the next turn through the rotation, "We'll keep that in house until we make a decision on that," Ross said.
Earlier in the day, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy told the Cubs Talk Podcast that a six-man rotation is an option being discussed. Meanwhile, Quintana made his case by facing the minimum through three innings of work before tiring. He came out of the bullpen, tossing 3+ innings of four-hit, three-run ball, walking one while striking out three.
Quintana allowed a run in the sixth after consecutive hits, a single and double, and exited after walking the next batter. The lefty called it “frustrating” that he didn’t keep the game where it was. After he exited, Casey Sadler allowed a walk and grand slam, putting Detroit up 7-0 and the game out of reach for the Cubs.
“It’s not about, ‘wow, it’s good innings.’ It’s to get results,” Quintana said. “Wanting to win. And that’s what I want to do.”
Quintana said he felt “great” physically and with his stuff, adding it “was really good to be back” on the mound after his absence. He made a strong case for a bigger role on Tuesday night, but he's ready for whatever the team needs, he said.
“So hopefully I’ll be back in the rotation. I don’t know what’s coming for me,” he said. “But I’ll be ready for whatever situation Rossy needs me. I just want to be healthy and do my job on the mound.