All signs positive as José Quintana continues to progress
Things are going so well for José Quintana right now, he doesn’t even want to talk about his thumb.
The 31-year-old southpaw threw a 3-inning simulated game at the Cubs alternate site in South Bend, Ind., Tuesday and is only focused on ramping up stamina, not his injury.
Quintana is slated for his regular bullpen work Thursday, simulating his standard five-day routine. Beyond that, the Cubs don’t have a timeline for when he might return to the big-league club.
“Talking to him, no real issues, not even thinking about his hand at all,” David Ross said. “It was good feedback from him. He doesn’t even want to talk about it — it’s not an issue. That’s good. I think he’s just got to continue to build.”
When Quintana threw a sim game last week, Ross and Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy were able to patch into the video board at Four Winds Field and watch the action live. They weren’t able to do that Tuesday due to some technical issues, but all reports from the staff were equally positive.
Quintana injured his thumb washing dishes just days ahead of the beginning of Cubs summer camp. He spent two weeks on the shelf before beginning to throw again in mid-July.
Now the Cubs are trying to get him up to speed to handle a starter’s workload. The rest of the rotation has been fantastic in his absence, ranking 3rd in Major League Baseball with a 2.73 ERA by the starting staff.
Prior to 2020, Quintana had started at least 31 games for seven straight seasons. In two-and-a-half seasons on the North Side of Chicago, he is 33-23 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
When Quintana rejoins the rotation sometime in the next couple weeks, the Cubs could opt to fold Alec Mills back into the bullpen as a multi-inning option. But Mills has also been phenomenal in the early going this year with a 2-0 record, 1.38 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in 2 starts.