Pittsburgh Pirates: José Quintana’s Final Start Could Be This Weekend

Jul 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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José Quintana has been the Pittsburgh Pirates best starting pitcher this season, but could his final start with the club come this weekend?

Friday night the Pittsburgh Pirates will welcome the Miami Marlins to PNC Park to begin a three-game weekend series. With this, the post-All-Star Break portion of the schedule will be underway for the 2022 edition of the Pittsburgh Baseball Club.

Odds are veteran lefty José Quintana will start at least one game for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. That start could very well come on Friday night, especially with the Bucs looking to showcase him prior to the August 2nd trade deadline.

Quintana signed with the Pirates this offseason looking to rebuild his value as a starting pitcher. Due to this, his deal with the Pirates was for just one-year and $2 million. This deal has proven to work out for both parties as Quintana has revitalized his career as a starting pitcher, while the Pirates have been able to get their best starting pitcher this season on the cheap.

The 33-year-old lefty has been the team’s best starting pitcher this season. In 18 starts Quintana has posted a 3.99 ERA and a 3.32 FIP in 90.1 innings pitched. Quintana has walked 7.5% of batters faced, struck out 21.0% of batters faced and has allowed home runs at just a 0.70 HR/9 rate.

For Quintana, this is his best ERA since 2016 and, minus 10 innings pitched in the COVID shortened 2020 season, his lowest FIP since 2015. His home run rate is the best it has been since 2015, while being tied for the second lowest of his career, while his walk rate is the lowest it has been since 2019.

Quintana has not just bounced back and re-established his value as a starting pitcher this season. No, he has gone beyond that. Quintana, even in his age -33 season, is putting together one of the best seasons of his now 11-year MLB career.

With Quintana set to hit free agency after the season, unless the Pittsburgh Pirates can work out an extension with him, there is little reason not to trade him. He is a veteran lefty who can work deep into games, is having one of the best seasons of his career, and has postseason experience, that should net a nice return in a trade package. Whatever it would net would be better than getting nothing in return when Quintana walks in free agency this offseason.

Additionally, Quintana is one of the top starting pitchers on the trade market. Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle of the Reds will garner plenty of interest, as will Oakland’s Frankie Montas if healthy, but after these three Quintana may be the best starting pitcher available on the market. This, obviously, raises his trade value as well.

All of this could very well culminate in this weekend being Quintana’s final start as a Pirate. The trade deadline is now just 11 days away, and once one starting pitching trade is made it will likely begin to open up the floodgates.

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Even if Quintana gets another start with the Pirates after this weekend, it is hard to envision him getting more than that. Quintana’s time with the Pirates has been short, but it’s been one of the best stretches of his career. He has also been a valuable veteran presence and mentor for their younger pitchers, especially Roansy Contreras. Whenever his time in Pittsburgh ends it will end on a positive note and with Quintana having made a positive impact on the Pirates.

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