On Tuesday, Quintana was informed he was being promoted from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte. He arrived to Charlotte on Wednesday, an off-day for the team, and was told Thursday he was being called up the majors because White Sox starter John Danks was heading to the disabled list.
Then, on Friday, Quintana made his first major league start and picked up his first major league win as he allowed four hits, two runs, three walks and struck out four in six innings in the White Sox’s 9-2 win over the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.
“I knew that an opportunity could be there for me to be called back up,” said Quintana through translator Jackson Miranda. “But I wasn’t expecting it to be this soon. Actually, I just got called up to Triple-A, and right from Triple-A I just came here.
“I’m really excited to have my win. It’s just something to give me incentive to continue on this path.”
Quintana earned Friday’s opportunity after an impressive relief outing with the White Sox when he was first called up in early May. He allowed one hit and no runs in 5 2/3 innings against Indians on May 7.
Now after seeing Quintana twice, White Sox manager Robin Ventura was able to draw a comparison to a pitcher of his own past.
“He has a lot of composure,” Ventura said. “Kind of reminds me of Wilson Alvarez. He kind of has a similar delivery and mannerisms. He’s a little more mature than what you think even though he’s coming up from Double-A. This is exactly what we needed.”
The 23-year-old Quintana showed his maturity was beyond his years in a couple tight situations during Friday’s game.
In the first inning, Quintana allowed back-to-back hits to start the game and was able to escape the situation by retiring the next three hitters and allowing just one run.
Later in the fifth inning, Quintana allowed runners on second base and third base with one out. Against No. 3 hitter Asdrubal Cabrera, Quintana went to battle and on the 10th pitch Cabrera popped out. One pitch later, Quintana forced cleanup hitter Carlos Santana to groundout to get out of the inning.
“He made some good pitches,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “He battled. He wasn’t scared.”
With the White Sox only leading 3-2 at that point, Quintana understood the significance of what he was able to accomplish.
“At that moment, it was one of those that I just knew I needed to get those outs,” Quintana said. “It was dire for us to have this win. All I did was go out there and concentrate on each pitch that I was pitching and just try to get a strike on each of them I was throwing.”
Finally to add to Quintana’s rush of good news, Ventura said Quintana would remain in the majors and fill in for Danks.
Not a bad week.