Quintana ready for return to Cubs
Jose Quintana is ready to pitch for the Cubs after recovering from a sliced left thumb, manager David Ross confirmed before Saturday's game against the White Sox.
Quintana, a left-handed starter, threw a short bullpen session in South Bend on Friday, which was designed as a final tune up.
"I think the plan was just to get him a short stint and see what that looked like," Ross said. "Let him kind of air it out for a short amount of time and see how that played and how it felt for him. All the feedback was good.
"He's ready to go and we're going to find the right spot for him and communicate it, depending on who else is healthy and ready to go as well."
The next opening in the Cubs' rotation is Tuesday at Detroit. Quintana is a candidate to start that game, but so is Tyler Chatwood, who threw in the bullpen Saturday as he recovers from a back injury. Ross offered two more candidates to start in Detroit, Adbert Alzolay and Colin Rea. Alzolay gave up 2 hits and 1 run in 5 innings on Wednesday against St. Louis.
Ross acknowledged that having Quintana start in the bullpen is another possibility. Quintana sliced his finger in a kitchen accident just before summer training began and the injury required microsurgery.
"We've had conversations with Q on how we want to build him back into the team and that (relief) is an option," Ross said.
Speaking of pitching, Ross served as Jon Lester's personal catcher for several years with both the Cubs and Red Sox, so he had some thoughts on Lester allowing 6 home runs in his last two starts, including four by the White Sox on Friday.
"When he gives up home runs, I feel like usually the ball is coming out a little bit flat," Ross said. "Watching a couple replays last night on the home runs, balls were up in the zone. He doesn't have the velocity anymore that's going to get away with mistakes up. He's always been a guy, actually, when he was throwing hard, hitters see the ball really good when he gets up in the zone.
"He's usually a guy that gets good angle on the cutter when he's right, the breaking ball is getting swing-and-miss underneath, the changeup's come into play a lot better this year. Last night for me was just not really establishing who he was and what he wanted to do with the baseball. I thought he trying to feel his way through it."