Chicago Cubs: All eyes are on José Quintana

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Jose Quintana
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Jose Quintana /

With the impending MLB trade deadline approaching, it would seem the Chicago Cubs are likely putting the finishing touches to their roster.

The addition of Cole Hamels remains to be seen as a quality trade, as he’ll make his first start Wednesday against the Pirates. It would seem likely that he’ll be an upgrade over Tyler Chatwood, given that he was on the chopping board for a while.

For this starting pitching rotation to realize their potential as a group, the focus should shift to Yu Darvish getting healthy and making starts again.

However, that’s the wrong pitcher to shine the spotlight on.

The deal to acquire José Quintana last summer was a costly one. Sending away top prospects for a controllable starter tends to be pricey. But Quintana hasn’t really performed up to par since the deal.

If it weren’t for Chatwood, he would be the definitive weak link in the starting five. This season’s 4.26 ERA and 1.42 WHIP certainly aren’t anything writing home about. His 0.3 WAR now becomes the lowest in the rotation with Chatwood’s demotion (I’m not even including Darvish in this because he’s only started eight games this year).

Chicago Cubs Jose Quintana
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Saturday afternoon was a rough showing for Q, as he only made it through three innings and gave up six earned runs. With another rock-solid showing the following evening from Kyle Hendricks, the pressure is mounting for Quintana to start showing the goods.

Should the Cubs make the postseason, it would be somewhat of a shock to not see Quintana in the rotation. Hamels can easily overtake him and assuming Darvish comes back strong, he certainly has a spot.

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The future seems a bit murky for Quintana. I think more people would be all over him were it not for Darvish’s health struggles this season. The good news for him is that there’s a lot of baseball left to be played, and he’ll have his chances.

But he needs to start showing the José Quintana the Cubs traded for last summer. Otherwise, he could soon face a similar fate as Chatwood did.