Chicago Cubs News: José Quintana could return this weekend

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher José Quintana may have a shot to return soon.

If the 2020 MLB season has taught us anything about the Chicago Cubs, it’s that they need an extra, capable arm in the bullpen. Fortunately for them, Chicago could get one very soon.

At the start of July, Cubs starting pitcher José Quintana made headlines with a pretty hilarious baseball injury. In a long list of dumb sports injuries, Quintana’s falls right in line. He suffered a lacerated thumb while washing the dishes.

Quintana required five stitches and has been healing up since. But, the time for getting back on the mound might be right around the corner.

In a recent sim game, Quintana reached the 4th inning, according to Theo Epstein. There is actually a chance he could return this weekend against the Cubs’ crosstown rival White Sox. In the event that Quintana returned this weekend, the Cubs would make a decision as to which starter they would send back to the pen.

Manager David Ross could decide to go with a 6-man rotation instead, but it would greatly help a struggling bullpen to have either Tyler Chatwood or Alec Mills join the group.

Chatwood started the season very strong, striking out 19 batters and giving up just one run over his first two games — both were wins against the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates.

In his third start, however, Chatwood fell apart. He only pitched into the third inning and gave up eight runs on 11 hits, including two home runs, against the Kansas City Royals. It’s performances like these which lead many to believe Chatwood could end up back in the bullpen where he looked most comfortable last year.

Mills, on the other hand, has been a surprise for the Cubs this year. A reliever turned starter, Mills has started three games, pitching a total of 19 innings. He’s struck out 14 while walking six and has a fairly strong ERA of 2.84, with a WHIP of 0.84.

If Quintana was cleared to return to action, he’d obviously be back in the starting rotation. Some fans have wondered whether or not the Cubs could elect to trade him or even designate him into the bullpen. But, with the way the pen has looked lately and the capability of Quintana as a starter, I don’t see that happening.

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This weekend, the Cubs have a 3-game series set with the White Sox where Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks will take the mound in two of those. The third starter has not yet been made official. Could it be Quintana? Here’s to hoping for a full bill of health in the coming days.