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After 362 days, José Quintana is ready to make his first start of 2020

2 years agoAndy Martinez

It’s been almost a full year since José Quintana last started a major league game. That changes Tuesday.

To be exact, it’ll have been 362 days when he takes the bump Tuesday against the Pirates.

“I can’t wait to be a starter for the first time in 2020,” Quintana said Monday. “You can imagine how hard I’ve been working to be back and help my team, especially this last week of the season.”

Back in February, Quintana was a lock in the Cubs starting rotation. He suffered a setback just as summer camp was about to kick off in July, suffering a thumb laceration while washing dishes. He worked his way back and made a pair of appearances out of the Cubs bullpen before he returned to the injured list with a lat injury.

Now he’s hoping he can contribute to the Cubs and get back to where he was before his injury.

“The inflammation is gone,” Quintana said. “I feel [like] last time when I threw before it hurt. It feels great.”

There’s no set pitch count for Quintana, but David Ross wants to keep close tabs on him as he returns from injury.

“He’s been working that way to become a starter, so I’ll keep an eye on him,” Ross said. “Obviously, I’m not gonna overextend him. I wanna kinda give him a little bit of a leash and communicate with him in game and see how he feels.”

With the playoffs less than a week away, Quintana is looking to work his way into a postseason roster spot, but Ross wants to take things one step at a time.

“I just gotta see him pitch,” Ross said. “We’ll get him off there tomorrow and see how far he’s able to give us.”

For now, Quintana is just focused on Tuesday and helping the Cubs towards the NL Central crown.

“I don’t know what’s coming for me after tomorrow, but I’m gonna be ready for any role David needs me [for],” Quintana said. “It’s a really good moment for me to be back, like I said before, help this team to win the division in the last week.

“I’m focusing on throwing the ball well.”

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