“He’s a really good pitcher; he’s a big league starter, there’s no doubt about that,” Paul Konerko said. “He’s really poised out there. He’s throwing the ball a lot better than (the results show). He’s had a good year, besides that.
“When you have a day like today where it’s one pitch, the three-run homer, it’s such a fine line, a fragile thing between having a really good day and a bad day. But ultimately he’s been good through last year and he keeps getting better.”
As the White Sox move forward with their left-handed dominated rotation, Quintana is essentially in line to be the club’s second-best option after Chris Sale. If John Danks returns to his old standards post-surgery, he could give the club two viable No. 2 options behind Sale, an ideal scenario for the White Sox.
“He’s been good,” Ventura said. “You’re looking at a kid who didn’t break spring training with us last year, gets a spot start and kind of earns his way into the rotation and has gone from there. But even from the beginning, his competitiveness, his maturity and things like that have always been up front. He’s a confident, tough kid on the mound.”
Aside from the confidence, Konerko said he has witnessed another impressive trait.
“He’s got a perfect makeup I think for a big league starter or a big league player,” Konerko said. “You don’t know when he’s doing well or when he’s doing bad. He’s very steady. It’s natural for him to pitch in to righties and that’s a really good trait to have, and although there are some guys that like that, a lot of guys don’t like it (inside).”
Entering Sunday’s outing, Quintana had given up a combined four earned runs over his last four home starts. It was good for a 2-1 record and a 1.37 ERA over that stretch.
The Twins, though, topped that run total on one inning. But as White Sox starters know all too well this season, there was barely any run support. The White Sox didn’t score when Quintana was on the mound Sunday, adding a pair of ninth-inning runs on solo home runs from Adam Dunn and Conor Gillaspie.
Quintana’s 4.36 run-support average was 18th lowest in the American League and fourth lowest among lefties. Sale is one of those lefties with worse run support than Quintana.
Adding to Quintana’s perfect temperament for a major league starter, he only blames himself when things go wrong.
“I really don't know what happened,” he said through an interpreter. “It's one of those things you don't want it to happen but happened in the game. It’s part of the game. I feel bad. It was a bad inning. I felt like I did OK, but I was behind the count a little at times and then one particular at-bat he should've never walked a guy and it just happened. It was one of those things that happened.”
Having already passed his major league innings total from last season, Quintana is at 143 1/3 as of Sunday, he is looking to build a base to move forward to his third season with the White Sox next year. He said he is strong and in an ideal frame of mind for pitching.
Cut loose after the 2011 season when the New York Yankees didn’t want to add Quintana to their 40-man roster, the Colombia native has turned into the ideal free-agent signing.
“It wouldn’t be surprised if he has a long career as a starter, just because of what he’s got but also because of his makeup,” Konerko said. “He’s very even keel.”