José Guillermo Quintana
- Bats Right, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 172 lb.
Quintana had a 0-1, 8.44 record with 8 walks in 5 1/3 IP for the 2006 VSL Mets. After a year out of baseball (in which he was suspended for violating the MLB Drug Prevention Program), he signed with the other New York outfit, the New York Yankees. Doing much better, he was 3-2 with a 1.96 ERA for the 2008 DSL Yankees 2, striking out 76 in 55 innings. With the same club the next year, he had a 2-1, 2.32 record and fanned 80 in 50 1/3 innings. He tied for 7th in the Dominican Summer League in strikeouts.
The portsider came to the USA in 2010 and appeared with the GCL Yankees (3-1, Sv, 2.31, .94 WHIP, 32 K in 23 1/3 IP) and Charleston RiverDogs (0-1, 4.70). He then joined the Colombian national team for the 2010 Pan American Games Qualification Tournament. He had a 13.00 ERA and 3.46 WHIP and was 0-1 in that tournament as Colombia failed to advance to the 2011 Pan American Games.
In 2011, Quintana was 10-2 with a 2.91 ERA for the Tampa Yankees, being used as both as a starter and reliever. Had he qualified, he would have been 5th in the Florida State League in ERA. Let go by the Yankees, he signed with the Chicago White Sox on the recommendation of Daraka Shaheed and Joe Siers. He began 2012 with the Birmingham Barons and was 1-2 with a 3.06 ERA after six starts. He was called up to the big leagues despite only those six games above A ball; he was called up at the same time as Eric Stults; Dylan Axelrod was sent down and Chicago's roster expanded to 26 for the first time due to the taxi squad rule.
Quintana made the most of his one-game MLB stint, allowing one hit and no runs in 5 2/3 shutout innings of relief after replacing Philip Humber before being sent back to Birmingham. The 11th major leaguer from Colombia, he was the 4th hurler from that country (after Emiliano Fruto, Ernesto Frieri and Julio Teheran) - all had debuted since 2006. He finished the year 1-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 9 games for Birmingham and 6-6 wit ha 3.76 ERA (113 ERA+) in the majors. He tied for 6th in the 2012 AL with 10 wild pitches. He had a 9-7, 3.51 record as a rotation mainstay for the 2013 White Sox. He was 10th in the 2013 AL in ERA+ (122).
On March 18, 2014, Quintana had one of the worst starts ever seen when he faced the Oakland Athletics in a Cactus League game. He faced nine batters, of which 7 had base hits and 2 walked, before giving way to reliever Deunte Heath with nobody out. The hits included a long homer by Jed Lowrie and a triple by Sam Fuld, the ninth man to come to the plate. All nine of the batters he faced eventually scored. As a comparison, no starter has ever given up 9 runs without retiring a single batter in a major league game, and the dubious feat had only been accomplished once, in relief, by Hank Borowy of the Detroit Tigers in 1951. Luckily for Jose, however, spring training statistics do not count.
On July 24, 2015, he pitched his first career shutout in blanking the Cleveland Indians, 6-0. He went 9-10 in 32 starts that season, in spite of pitching very well, as attested by his ERA of 3.36, an ERA+ of 116. He logged over 200 innings for the third straight year, but had been unable to win in double figures during that stretch in spite of posting very good ERAs each year. Bill James had once posited that run support evens out in the long run if someone gets to stick around long enough, but Quintana seemed to be trying to disprove that axiom, being among the worst-supported pitchers in the majors year after year.
He again pitched very well over the first three months of the 2016 season, but after starting off well, being 5-1, 1.38 after 7 starts, the Sox scored 1 or 2 runs every time in his next 7 starts, except for one game in which they scored 3 (but lost anyway). He had a no-decision when Chicago defeated the Boston Red Sox, 8-6, on June 22nd, then his teammates were shut out in his next start. That made him 0-7 for that stretch of nine starts, even though he had continued to pitch well. He finally broke the jinx on July 3rd, when he defeated the Houston Astros, 4-1, pitching 7 solid innings. In spite of these difficulties, he was named to the All-Star team in recognition of the fact he was pitching extremely well even if his run support left a lot to be desired. He finished the season with a record of 13-12, 3.20 in 32 starts, topping 200 innings for the fourth straight years.
There was a lot of trade interest around Quintana following his very good 2016 season, especially after the White Sox traded ace Chris Sale, indicating that they were serious about re-building. But a trade did not happen and he began the 2017 season back with the Pale Hose after pitching for Colombia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. In the first half of the season he went 4-8, 4.49 in 18 starts, with trade rumors continuing to swirl around his name. On July 13th, the White Sox did trade him, to the Chicago Cubs in return for four prospects: Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose, and Bryant Flete. He was outstanding in his first start for the Cubs on July 16th, allowing no runs over seven innings while striking out 12, walking none and giving up only 3 hits. He was credited with an 8-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. In his second start, on July 23rd, he defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-3, at Wrigley Field to allow the Cubs to catch the Milwaukee Brewers in first place, putting them there for the first time since June 6th. On September 24th, he pitched a great game against the Brewers, a complete-game three-hit 5-0 shutout that extended the Cubs' lead over the second-place Brewers to 5 1/2 games and bringing the magic number down to two.
- AL All-Star (2016)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (2013-2016)
- 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (2017)
- Andrew Simon: "Quintana epitomizes consistency on the hill", mlb.com, January 3, 2018.